Wrestling Buccaneers have change of plans; adjust for dominating performance at Keyser

The Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling Buccaneers took runner-up honors in the 38th annual Keyser Kiwanis Duals this past Saturday. In this photo, they celebrate with their second-place trophy.

KEYSER – There was a huge change of plans for the Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling Bucs this past weekend, but they handled it in stride and came out on the other side with a dominating performance.

The Bucs were scheduled for a dual meet at Cabell Midland this past Friday but that event was canceled at the last minute.

So Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr got on the phone to find a challenge for his Bucs and wound up taking them to the eastern panhandle on Saturday to Keyser High School for a the 38th annual Keyser Kiwanis Duals.

The Bucs responded to the change in plans going 4-1 at the tournament.

Buckhannon-Upshur went 4-0 in pool play beating Southern Garrett-B (36-30), Keyser-B (41-24), Hampshire (36-30) and Petersburg (36-29).

The 4-0 mark placed the Bucs first in their pool, which slated them to wrestle against Keyser in the championship round.

The Bucs were only able to fill seven of their 14 weight classes this weekend due to illness and the last minute schedule change and fell to Keyser in the title clash by a 45-25 score.

“In the seven matches we wrestled, we won five of them,” remarked Orr. “It’s hard to win a dual match with only half a line-up though, as we forfeited seven matches. Especially when the team you are facing off with has a full-line up. It essentially means that we were fighting out of a very deep hole.”

When the Bucs were on the mat, they were dominant as they won 27 out of 33 matches with 23 first period pins.

Julius Hobbs (132 pounds), Jacob Smithson (170 pounds), and Alex Bennett (220 pounds) all went 5-0.

“Hobbs had four first-period pins and spent less than four minutes on the mat,” noted Orr. “Smithson had four first period pins and a major decision. He went out and took care of business. Bennett won his first matches of the year and racked up four first-period pins and a decision.”

Trevur Randolph (138), Sheldon Zirkle (145) and Luke Bohnsack (152) all compiled impressive 4-1 marks.

“Randolph had three first-period pins,” stated Orr. “Zirkle was making his first varsity start and he has grown so much since day one, I am very proud of him, and Bohnsack had three pins and a technical fall. As a sophomore, he put on a great performance.” 

Freshman Joel Hershman made his first varsity start as well and went 3-2.

“For his first start as a freshman, he wrestled really well,” explained Orr.

Orr was beyond pleased with how his Bucs performed at Keyser.

‘The guys came out and put on a dominating performance,” concluded Orr. ‘We are headed in the right direction. With such a young team I am super proud of how they competed this weekend. It’s fun watching them go out and have success like that.”

The Bucs will take to the mat again this Friday and Saturday in the Musselman Duals.

Following their trip back to the eastern panhandle this week, they will close out the calendar year with a trip to Wheeling for the Wheeling Park Duals on the weekend of Dec. 27-28.


132 pounds –  Julius Hobbs 5-0

138 pounds – Trevur Randolph 4-1

145 pounds – Sheldon Zirkle 4-1

152 pounds – Luke Bohnsack 4-1

170 pounds – Jacob Smithson 5-0

220 pounds –  Alex Bennett- 5-0

Heavyweight – Joel Hershman 3-2


132 pounds –  Nathan Cornett 4-1

132 pounds –  Lakoda Lantz 2-2


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