HUNTINGTON – When Julius Hobbs took to the mat this season, he wanted to do more than just win his match.
He wanted to leave a reputation behind him that when an opponent saw his name come up next, they knew they were going to be in the battle of their life.
Following his performance at the 2020 West Virginia State High School championships this past weekend in Huntington, there isn’t a wrestler in the state who doesn’t know Hobbs name now.
Hobbs went into Huntington as a Big 10 Conference and Region I Champion in the 126-pound weight class, he left as a state champion.
He went a perfect 4-0 to win the state title.
He earned a technical fall over Greenbrier East’s Levi Fisher in his opening match, pinned Huntington’s Alexander Viars in the quarterfinals and pinned Spring Mills’ Chance Williams in the semifinals.
In his title match, he earned a 5-2 decision over University’s Jace Stockett for the championship.
Hobbs ended his year with a 44-5 record.
“Julius finished off his junior season with the highest honor,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr. “I am super proud of him. He wrestled his tail end and it paid off for him. He had some ups and downs this season but we've told him since day one of season that he could be a state champ. He just had to believe in himself the same way we believed in him."
The talented senior Jacob Smithson earned runner-up honors for the Bucs in the 170-pound division with a 3-1 record.
His lone loss was in the title match to Huntington’s Austin Dempsey.
“Jacob has had a dominate career at Buckhannon-Upshur and has helped lay the foundation of the program,” noted Orr. “In his four years here, he had accomplished many things – one of Buckhannon-Upshur’s few four-time state placer’s and four-time regional champion. He finished his career with a 162- 31 record, just a few shy of the all-time wins record here.”
The Bucs had two other wrestlers reach the podium – Tucker Hurst (138 pounds) and Alex Bennett (220 pounds)
Hurst finished fifth with a 3-2 record.
“Tucker came into the state tournament with no one giving him any love,” said Orr. “His first match he knocks off fourth-ranked wrestler in the state and he gets another win in the quarters. He moved on to the semis to wrestle the eventual state champ in Joey Miller of Musselman, who is a three-time state champion, and wrestled him extremely well. He battled back from that loss to take fifth place.”
Hurst finished his year with a 17-11 record.
Bennett also compiled a 3-2 record to finish sixth.
“Bennett had a really good weekend,” stated Orr. “He lost in his first round match then battled all the way back through the consolation bracket to find himself on the podium.”
As a team, the Buccaneers finished ninth overall, their same placement as last year, with 80 points.
“It was a long three-day grind for those that placed, but we’ve prepared all year for this moment,” remarked Orr. “Every practice session, all the blood sweat and tears come to a head this past weekend.”
Parkersburg South won the team title with 271.5 points while Wheeling Park was second with 195.5.
Aidan Wilson (113 pounds), Nathan Cornett (132 pounds), Breagan Pearson (145 pounds) and Todd Cutlip (285 pounds) all finished 1-2 for the Bucs.
“Aidan opened up the tournament with the number one seed and eventual state champ from Spring Mills and wrestled him very well but eventually fell to the champ,” commented Orr. “He won his next match handedly by pin in the first period. He lost his last match as time ran out. I am super proud of the way this kid continues to grow and learn.”
Wilson finished his season 30-23.
“Cornett, just a freshman, came out to prove a point this weekend,” stated Orr. He knocked off a No. 1 seed from Region II in the first round. Winning a match let alone knocking off a No. 1 seed as a freshman, he made a name for himself this weekend.”
Cornett ended his year with a 29-21 record.
“Breagan was in a meat-grinder of a weight class this year and fell short of placing,” noted Orr. “A lot of factors play into Breagan’s story – this kid has had two major knee surgeries in the last year and was able to battle back heal and compete in the second half of season. Unfortunately, he fell ill before we left for states as well. I’m extremely proud of the adversity this kid has overcome and can’t wait for next year.”
Pearson ended his year with a 29-12 record.
“Cutlip, as a two-year starter for us, qualified for back-to-back state tournaments,” said Orr. “He was an incredible asset to our team.”
He ended his season with a 22-20 mark.
Rounding out the state qualifiers for B-U was Luke Bohnsack at 152 pounds.
“He was a first-year sophomore that went 0-2,” stated Orr. “Luke has come a long way this season and has done very well for wrestling up a weight class.”
He finished his season with a 19-27 record.
Orr had a final message for his two seniors – Smithson and Cutlip.
“I hate to see you two graduate,” stated Orr. “What you have brought to me and this program will live on far beyond your time on the mats. Every journey must come to an end, but that only means another one is beginning. I appreciate you two more then you ever know. Thank you for allowing me to have roll in you journey of life. I love you both like my own children. Good luck in where ever life takes you.”
1. Parkersburg South 271.5; 2. Wheeling Park 195.5; 3. Parkersburg 131.5; 4. Huntington 112; 5. University 112; 6. Riverside 112; 7. Spring Mills 100.5; 8. Musselman 99.5; 9. Buckhannon-Upshur 80; 10. George Washington 66; 11. St. Albans 65; 12. Cabell Midland 63; 13. Woodrow Wilson 56; 14. Washington 53; 15. Ripley 45; 16.Greenbrier East 40; 17. John Marshall 36.5; 18. Martinsburg 32; 19. Brooke 23; 20. Hampshire 21; Hurricane 16; 22. Princeton 16; 23. Morgantown 15; 24. Spring Valley 11; 25. Jefferson 9; 26. Preston 8; 27. Hedgesville 6; 28. South Charleston 3;
113 pounds – Aidan Wilson 1-2
126 pounds – Julius Hobbs 4-0 (First Place)
132 pounds – Nathan Cornett 1-2
138 pounds – Tucker Hurst 3-2 (Fifth Place)
145 pounds – Breagan Pearson 1-2
152 pounds – Luke Bohnsack 0-2
170 pounds – Jacob Smithson 3-1 (Second Place)
220 pounds – Alex Bennett 3-2 (Sixth Place)
285 pounds – Todd Cutlip 1-2