TENNERTON – It really couldn’t have gone any better for head coach Jacob Orr and his Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers when they hosted the Region I Wrestling Tournament this past Saturday.
Orr put 10 wrestlers on the mat during the regional tournament and will have nine advance to the state championships next weekend.
And of those nine, two will go to the state championships as regional champions – Julius Hobbs at 126 pounds and Jacob Smithson at 170 pounds.
For Smithson, one of two seniors on the wrestling team, this will be his fourth straight trip to the state championship.
Hobbs, a junior, has never missed a showing in the state championships either as this will be his third trip.
Smithson won this regional title with a 10-4 decision over Brooke’s Max Camilletti in the championship bout.
With the win, he improved his record to 44-2 on the season.
Hobbs won a breath-taking 5-4 decision over University’s Jace Stockett as he improved his record to 40-5 on the season.
The top four finishers in each weight class earned a berth into the state tournament.
Junior Breagan Pearson (145 pounds) took runner-up honors in his weight class.
Buckhannon-Upshur had three wrestlers finish in third place – Tucker Hurst (138 pounds), Alex Bennett (220 pounds) and Todd Cutlip (285 pounds).
The Bucs also had three wrestlers place fourth earning a spot in the state tournament.
They were Aidan Wilson (113 pounds), Nathan Cornett (132 pounds) and Luke Bohnsack (152 pounds).
“We wrestled really well this weekend and I am a proud coach,” remarked Orr at the end of the day. “We are looking forward to our trip to Huntington next weekend. It’s always fun competing there.”
The Bucs finished in third place in the seven-team event compiling 144 points.
Wheeling Park won the event with 259 points while University was second with 202 points.
Both Wheeling Park and University are ranked in the top 10.
Orr also complemented the unsung heroes of his team.
“Trevur Randolph was our junior varsity competitor at the 138-pound weight class,” noted Orr. “He wanted to help the team so he asked me if he could bump up in weight class to our vacant 160-pound weight class. He wrestled over 20 pounds above his weight and went 1-2 getting a pinfall in his victory, helping us finish third overall. Our junior varsity wrestlers were not allowed to participate in the regional tournament, but their part that they do doesn’t go unnoticed either. Those guys helped us get to where we wanted to be.”
Orr also thanked everyone for helping make the tournament a success at the high school.
“I would like to thank everyone that helped make the regional tournament a success,” concluded Orr. “We had a lot of hands in the pot and they did a fantastic job. With such unbelievable support from our parents and community it allowed us (the coaching staff) to do what we do and that’s coach.”
The three-day 73rd annual West Virginia State High School Wrestling Championships will begin next Thursday at the Big Sandy Super Store Arena in Huntington.
1. Wheeling Park 259; 2. University 202.5; 3. Buckhannon-Upshur 144; 4. John Marshall 138; 5. Morgantown 129.5; 6. Preston 115; 7. Brooke 88.
113 pounds – Aidan Wilson (Fourth Place)
126 pounds – Julius Hobbs (First Place)
132 pounds – Nathan Cornett (Fourth Place)
138 pounds – Tucker Hurst (Third Place)
145 pounds – Breagan Pearson (Second Place)
152 pounds – Luke Bohnsack (Fourth Place)
160 pounds – Trevur Randolph
170 pounds – Jacob Smithson (First Place)
220 pounds – Alex Bennett (Third Place)
285 pounds –Todd Cultip (Third Place)