Mason County will be well represented this weekend at Big Sandy Superstore Arena as nine local grapplers have advanced to the 2016 WVSSAC state wrestling tournament being held Thursday through Saturday in downtown Huntington.
Point Pleasant had eight wrestlers advance out of their Class AAA Region 4 home tournament, while Wahama advanced one grappler out of the Class AA-A Region 4 tournament at Roane County High School. Of the state nine qualifiers, five will be making their wrestling debut at state level.
The Big Blacks came away with three individual regional champions while finishing fourth out of 10 teams in the AAA meet at PPHS. Point Pleasant ended the one-day meet with 148.5 points, which trailed only Huntington (218), Cabell Midland (195.5) and Saint Albans (155.5) in the final standings.
Freshman George Smith earned his first-ever state berth after clinching the 106-pound Region 4 title, while senior Hunter White (170) and junior Grant Safford (182) will be making repeat trips to Huntington after winning regional crowns in their respective divisions.
Senior Tannor Hill was the 220-pound runner-up and senior Scotty Wilcox placed fourth in the 120 weight class, allowing both upperclassmen to also earn repeat trips to the state tournament.
Seniors Chris Lush (145) and James Patterson (195), as well as sophomore Brian Gillispie (285), all earned fourth place in their respective weight classes while also securing their first-ever state tournament bids.
Jacob Roub just missed qualifying for PPHS after placing fifth at 138 pounds, while Jeffrey Simpkins (126) and Andrew Roach (170) both ended the Class AAA Region 4 meet in sixth place.
In the Class AA-A meet at Roane County, Wahama finished 10th out of 12 teams with 32 points. Calhoun County and Roane County shared the Region 4 title with 181 points apiece, while Wirt County was third overall with 169.5 points.
Sophomore Ethan Herdman was the only White Falcon to advance to state after earning his first-ever trip by finishing third overall at 145 pounds.
Brady Powell (152), Antonio Serevicz (182) and Richard Short (220) each missed the cut after placing sixth in their respective weight classes.
Complete results of the 2016 Region 4 meets at Point Pleasant High School and Roane County High School are available on the web at wvmat.com
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.