HUNTINGTON – Breagan Pearson earned third place for the highest placement of a Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer in the 2021 West Virginia State High School Wrestling Championships held earlier this week in the Mountain Health Arena.
Pearson was one of 10 Buccaneers that earned a berth in the state championships.
Pearson, wrestling in the 145-pound division, ended the tournament with a 4-1 record.
Pearson earned a 15-3 major decision over Cabell Midland’s Nick Marion in his opener, then pinned Musselman’s Brady Mills in the second round.
In Pearson’s only loss of the season, he lost a 10-2 major decision to Parkersburg South’s Gage Wright. Wright wound up winning the 145-pound bracket.
Pearson recovered to earn a 10-0 major decision over Marion again and beat Huntington’s Orion Bennet by a 5-0 decision in the third-place match.
“Pearson dominated every opponent with the exception of his semifinal match with Wright,” said Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr. “And he gave Wright his best match of his tournament. After that loss, he refocused and continued to dominate.”
The Bucs had four other wrestlers reach the podium at the state tournament.
Aidan Wilson (113 pounds) finished fourth while Tucker Hurst (126 pounds) placed fifth and Liam Garcia (120 pounds) and Luke Bohnsock (160 pounds) both placed sixth.
Wilson finished the tournament with a 4-2 record.
Wilson pinned Greenbrier East’s Chase Martin in his opening match but lost a 13-5 major decision to Parkersburg South’s Brent Bosley.
He rebounded to win his next three matches, a pin over St. Albans’ Sam Giordano, a pin over Riverside’s Joshua Slack and a 9-1 major decision over Princeton’s Trace Hatfield.
He dropped the third-fourth place match, losing a close 9-7 decision to Spring Mill’s Landon Hoffman.
“Wilson had a couple of good wins and he had a good tournament,” noted Orr.
Hurst compiled a 4-2 record.
He won his opener, a 12-7 decision over Hurricane’s Lucas Talley, but dropped his second match by a 15-0 technical fall to Spring Mills’ Michael Dolan.
He came back to win his next two matches, a 5-2 decision over Wheeling Park’s Cody Taggart and a 7-2 decision over Ripley’s Brett Haskins.
He lost a 12-3 major decisions to Washington’s Hunter Locke but ended the tournament with a 5-0 decision over Cabell Midland’s Jackson Stewart for fifth place.
“Hurst had a really good tournament too,” said Orr. “The 126-weight class was probably one of the toughest weight classes I’ve ever seen top to bottom.”
Garcia compiled a 3-3 record.
He won his opener on a 19-4 technical fall over Spring Mills Jacob Perry but lost a 12-7 decision to George Washington’s Saige Walls.
He took his next two matches, a pin over Parkersburg’s Braycon Hedges and a 9-4 decision over Washington’s Zander Shiley before losing a 15-0 technical fall to Huntington’s Joe Riggs and a 5-2 decision to Brooke’s Braydon Demaria for sixth place.
“Garcia looked like a deer in the head lights when he got to Huntington for his first trip to the show,” said Orr. “But once the wrestling started, he did a really nice job and finished his freshman campaign with a sixth-place finish.”
Bohnsack also finished with a 3-3 record.
He pinned Caleb Wiser of Jefferson in his opening match but lost a 5-3 decision to Colby Piner of Greenbrier East in the second round.
He claimed a 9-5 decision over Mason Merrifield of Parkersburg and won a 12-3 major decision over Morgantown’s Broderick Washington but lost an 11-2 major decision to University’s Elijah Wellings-Osha and lost by pin to Piner in the fifth-sixth place match.
“Bohnsack wrestled open and free this week and had an outstanding performance placing sixth,” remarked Orr.
Julius Hobbs, a state champ last year at 126 pounds, went 2-2 this year at 132 pounds and Nathan Cornett also went 2-2 at 138 pounds.
“Hobbs simply ran into a couple of buzz saws and was in a meat grinder of a bracket and came up short of the podium this year,” remarked Orr. “Cornett wrestled really well, and he too came up just short of the podium going 2-2. His two losses that put him out both came to wrestlers that would go on to place.”
Trevur Randolph picked up the other win for the Bucs in the 152-pound division going 1-2.
“His two losses also came to individuals that would go on to place,” noted Orr.
Alex Bennett, wrestling in the 220-pound division, how to bow out of the tournament in the first round after suffering an injury.
“Bennett unfortunately suffered a season ending injury in his first-round match that he was dominating,” explained Orr. It was heart breaking to see Alex's season end that way. He has put a lot of hard work in this season, and it stinks that it ended that way for him.”
Joel Hershman, who made the state tournament as an alternate in the heavyweight division, came up short in his two matches.
“Joel competed well but was knocked out of the tournament early,” stated Orr. “He got a little taste of Huntington and what it’s like getting to compete on the big stage.”
As a team the Bucs finished seventh overall with 104.5 points.
Parkersburg South won the team title with 264 points while Spring Mills was second with 172.5 and Wheeling Park was third with 155.
“Overall, there is not a single complaint about how these guys went down and competed,” concluded Orr. “They wrestled at a high level and some achieve their goals, and some did not, that's just a part of wrestling though. I am so proud of each and every one of them.”
1. Parkersburg South 264; 2. Spring Mills 172.5; 3. Wheeling Park 155; 4. St. Albans 135; 5. University 119; 6. Huntington 104.5; 7. Buckhannon-Upshur 84.5; 8. Washington 82; 9. Woodrow Wilson 68.5; 10. Parkersburg 65; 11. Cabell Midland 63; 12. Riverside 50; 13. Ripley 56.5; 14. Greenbrier East 46; 15. George Washington 45; 16. Musselman 44; 17. John Marshall 42; 18. Princeton 30; 19. Hurricane 28.5; 20. Oak Hill 25; 21. Spring Valley 18; 22. Morgantown 16; 23. Brooke 12.5; 24. Hampshire 12. 25. Martinsburg 11; 26. Preston 7; 27. Hedgesville 6; 28. Jefferson 4.
113 pounds – Aidan Wilson (4-2, fourth place)
120 pounds – Liam Garcia (3-3, sixth place)
126 pounds – Tucker Hurst (4-2, fifth place)
132 pounds – Julius Hobbs (2-2)
138 pounds – Nathan Cornett (2-2)
145 pounds – Breagan Pearson (4-1, third place)
152 pounds – Trevur Randolph (1-2)
160 pounds – Luke Bohnsack (3-3, sixth place)
220 pounds – Alex Bennett (0-1)
285 pounds – Joel Hershman (0-2)