Bucs prepare for state wrestling tourney

Competition to be held Thursday through Saturday in Huntington

TENNERTON — Buckhannon-Upshur will be represented by five wrestlers at the state tournament scheduled to take place Thursday through Saturday at the Huntington Civic Center.

Austin McCartney, Tyler Cutright and Jacob Smithson lead the Bucs into the competition.  All three are returning to states for the second straight year.

“I’m excited about this year’s journey to Huntington,” said B-U coach Jacob Orr. “Those three  [McCartney, Cutright and Smithson] placed last year [at states] and have put in a lot of hard work in hopes that it will pay off down there.

“They are the captains for our team and truly lead by example with their hard work and dedication.”

McCartney and Cutright are both juniors, while Smithson is a sophomore.

McCartney, at 126 pounds, is 22-8 on the season  and was the regional runner-up. He placed fifth last year in Huntington.

“Austin was plagued in the beginning of the year with injury after injury,” Orr said. “He’s finally healthy again and has been fun to watch on the mat.”

Cutright (138) was also fifth at last year’s state tourney. He enters the 2018 event with a 38-5 mark and was the region champion.

Smithson (145) also captured the regional crown and is 37-6 on the season. He was sixth last year in Huntington.

“Tyler and Jacob have both wrestled well this year,” Orr said. “I hope that they continue that path through Saturday [in Huntington].”

The trio will be joined at states by freshmen Julius Hobbs and Breagan Pearson.

Hobbs was the regional champ at 113 pounds and is 29-12 on the campaign, while Pearson placed third at regionals and is 15-22 in the 120-pound class.

“Julius is a kid with the will and desire to win and I’m sure will make a little bit of noise down in Huntington,” Orr said. “Breagan has really turned it on the second half of the year and it’s really started to click for him. I look for him to have some success at the state tournament as well.”

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