HUNTNGTON, W.Va. — Both Point Pleasant and Wahama are places they’ve been before, but the chance to discover newfound territory is just around the corner.
Mason County continues to have some good fortune going for it this weekend at the 72nd annual WVSSAC Wrestling Championships as the Big Blacks and White Falcons combine for six Class AA-A state finalists after completing Day 2 at Big Sandy Superstore Arena on Friday night in Cabell County.
Point Pleasant will finish the weekend with 10 state placers and also secured five berths in divisional championship bouts on Saturday night, while Wahama has landed a pair of state placers to go along with the program’s second-ever individual state finalist.
The Big Blacks have a quintet of first-time state finalists in Isaac Short (106), Christopher Smith (113), Derek Raike (120), Justin Bartee (126) and Mitchell Freeman (132), all of whom qualified for Class AA-A championship matches after posting identical marks of 3-0 through three sessions of competition.
Senior Antonio Serevicz also joins Kane Roush as the only White Falcon grapplers to ever qualify for a state final after going 3-0 in three sessions at 220 pounds.
Wahama has never produced a state champion in the school’s history as Roush placed second at 152 pounds in 2012. The Red and White are also assured of their first multi-placer tournament since the 2014 campaign.
The Red and Black, on the other hand, came up one state finalist short of the school mark of six set by the 2012 squad. PPHS — which didn’t have a state finalist a year ago and hasn’t had an individual champion since 2016 — will have five opportunities to break that title drought.
The Big Blacks own a commanding lead in the Class AA-A team standings through three sessions of competition. Point Pleasant currently has 164 points and is up 60 points on current runner-up and five-time defending champion Independence (104).
Point Pleasant also has a 10 of its 14 grapplers slated for matches on Saturday, with five of those coming in consolation rounds during Session 4 Saturday morning.
Wahama, on the other hand, currently sits 16th overall in the Class AA-A standings with 31 points. WHS is also fourth in the Class A tournament, with Greenbrier West currently holding that lead with 74 points.
Parkersburg South (212.5) is ahead by 62.5 points in the Class AAA tournament headed into Saturday morning.
The Big Blacks currently own a 29-13 overall record in head-to-head bouts, which includes 16 pinfall victories. Wahama, conversely, is 6-1 overall with three pinfall wins.
George Smith (132), Wyatt Wilson (145), Zac Samson (152), Logan Southall (160) and Jacob Muncy (285) will partake in the Session 4 events Saturday morning as the best each can finish as of now is third.
The same is true for Wahama’s Trevor Hunt at 145 pounds. Coincidentally, both Hunt and Wilson face one another in the opening 145-pound consolation match Saturday morning.
The Point Pleasant quartet of Nazar Abbas (170), Juan Marquez (182), Nick Ball (195) and Wyatt Stanley (220) have been eliminated from the Class AA-A tournament through the end of Friday night’s third session.
A full recap of the Class AA-A tournament — including Saturday’s results — will be made available in the Tuesday sports editions of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Point Pleasant Register and The Daily Sentinel.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2019 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships being held this weekend at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.