Smithson wins first place for Bucs at Winner’s Choice Tournament

Buckhannon-Upshur’s Jacob Smithson (middle) stands atop the podium after winning the 170-pound weight class in the Winner’s Choice Tournament at Fairmont this past weekend. Smithson was a perfect 4-0 at the tournament.

Smithson one of four Buccaneers to place at tournament

FAIRMONT – Buckhannon-Upshur’s Jacob Smithson took first place in the highly competitive Winner’s Choice  Tournament this past weekend in Fairmont.

Smithson, wrestling in the 170-pound weight division, went through the tournament with an unbeaten record.

He recorded a fall over Parkerburg’s Tyler Boyd in 46 seconds, pinned Berkley Springs’ Landen Riggleman in 2:40, pinned Drake Gindlesperger from Meyersdale (Pa.) in 5:22 and downed Fairmont Senior’s Nick Scott by a 14-2 major decision in the championship.

“Smithson blew through his competition this weekend not having a single point scored on him until his finals match which came in the form of a take down,” stated Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr. “He still won that match by major decision, 14-2. He is performing well right now and wrestling at a high level.”

Julius Hobbs (126 pounds) took fifth place for the Bucs with a 4-2 mark.

He made quick work of Fairmont Senior’s Tyler Harrison of Fairmont Senior in 32 seconds.

He dropped a fall to eventual champion Bryce Wilkes of Peters Township but then came back to beat Preston Peck of South Harrison by an 8-1 decision.

He then defeated Cameron Lawrence by fall in 2:41 but lost to Clay Rankin of Riverbend by the slimmest of margins with a 5-4 score.

He ended the tournament with a forfeit victory over Waynesburg’s Rocco Welsh.

“The 126-pound division was probably one of the toughest weight classes in the tournament,” noted Orr. “There with a lot of tough guys from around the state and out of state in that division and Hobbs performed well.”

Alex Bennett took seventh place with a 4-2 record in the 220-pound weight class.

He pinned Jordan Pollosttini of Oakland in 1:03 but lost an 8-4 decision to John Jenkins of Hedgesville.

He rebounded to pin Woodrow Wilson’s Jackson Evans in 30 seconds and defeated Benny Donivan of Springs Mills by fall in 1:31.

He lost a 5-3 decision to Ayden Bishoff but earned a 30 second fall over Jenkins in their second match of the tournament.

“When Alex is confident in himself, he is a scary dude on the mat,” explained Orr. “He got a chance to get revenge from an early tournament loss to Jenkins and man he did just that. To see him and go out and get him in the seventh-place match was great to see. Bennett blasted through him with a first period pin match lasted about 30 seconds.”

The final Buc to place was Aidan Wilson, taking eighth in the 113-pound division.

He beat Rush Sparks by major decision in his opener, 14-2, but lost a 9-4 decision to Mark Tarley of Fairmont Senior.

He won a 15-13 decision over Connor Arnett of Bridgport but lost by technical fall to Isaac Harris of Berkley Springs and by major decision to Jaxon Upperman of Riverbend.

“Aidan wrestled a couple of tough matches this weekend that could have gone either way,” remarked Orr. “He had a good tournament.”

Rounding out the B-U line was Breagan Pearson (145) going 2-2, Nathan Cornett (132) finishing 1-2, Tucker Hurst (138) and Todd Cutlip (heavyweight) both going 0-2.

“Cornett continues to impress me as a freshman with his poise on the mat,” said Orr. “For Hurst, this was the first time he has been on the mat this season to compete. It’s a tough tournament to come back to.”

The tournament was the first major individual tournament the Bucs have competed in.

“This is the first individual tournaments of the season,” remarked Orr. “Prior to this weekend, we have competed in mostly team dual tournaments. This tournament always propels us into the post-season type of mind set. It’s a super tough tournament with a lot of tough competition. Overall, we didn’t finish too bad but there is always room for improvement.”

The results:


(Top 20 out of 50 teams)

1. Waynesburg (Pa.) 295.5; 2. Fairmont Senior 167; 3. Parkersburg 156.5; 4. University 149; 5. Spring Mills 147; 6. Meyersdale (Pa.) 114; 7. Peters Township (Pa.) 109.5; 8. Riverside 102; 9. Washington 96.5; 10. Riverbend (Va.) 89.5; 11. Bridgeport 88.5; 12. Buckhannon-Upshur 85; 13. East Fairmont 82; 14. Berkley Springs 78.5; 15. Clay County 78; 16. Ritchie County 73.5; 17. Greenbrier East 72; 18. St. Albans 71.5; 19. North Marion 69; 20. Nitro 66.5.


113 pounds – Aidan Wilson 2-3

126 pounds – Julius Hobbs 4-2

132 pounds – Nathan Cornett 1-2

138 pounds – Tucker Hurst 0-2

145 pounds – Breagan Pearson 2-2

152 pounds – Luke Bohnsack 0-2

170 pounds – Jacob Smithson 4-0

220 pounds – Alex Bennett 4-2

285 pounds –Todd Cutlip 0-2


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