CALHOUN WRESTLERS WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT REGIONAL - Red Devils Advance Eight To State Tournament

(02/22/2004)

By Gaylen Duskey SPORTS EDITOR

realfang@citlink.net

Calhoun won “one for the thumb” as it captured its fifth consecutive regional title but it did not come without some nail-biting moments and some making of strange bedfellows.

The Red Devils nipped Point Pleasant by five – 176-171 – to capture the Class AA-A, Region IV title Saturday at Roane County High School with Herbert Hoover (170) making it a race to the finish.

Calhoun entered the final round of the tournament eight points behind Herbert Hoover and five behind Point Pleasant. However, the Red Devils had six in the championship round while the Huskies had four and Point Pleasant three.

The championship round proved to be Calhoun’s round as it won four individual titles – Justin Ashley (130), Andrew Cummings (135), Eric Metz (152) and Paul Goodrich (160) – to pull ahead going into the heavier weights.

But that’s when the Red Devils ran out of wrestlers and found themselves pulling for some of their big rivals to help them hold onto the thin lead they had.

First the Red Devils found themselves pulling for Roane County’s 215-pounder Sam Craddock to beat Point Pleasant’s Daniel Tench … or at least keep Tench from scoring a major decision or a pin either of which would have lifted the Big Black over Calhoun.

But Craddock came through with a 12-1 decision assuring the Big Black would not be able to beat the Red Devils.

Then in the 275 pound match the Red Devils need Clay’s Ben Harper to avoid being pinned since a pin by Herbert Hoover’s Andy Anderson would lift the Huskies into a first-place tie with the Red Devils.

But instead of merely avoiding a pin Harper got a pin himself ending the Huskies’ hope for an “upset tie.”

While Calhoun coach Mike Stump was happy with the victory and advancing eight wrestlers to the state tournament this coming weekend in Huntington, he was nonetheless bothered by a couple of things.

“We lost a team point when one our wrestlers said something he shouldn’t have,” Stump said. “You can’t do that. You’ve got to learn to keep your mouth shut.”

The other thing was pins, or lack of some, on a couple of occasions.

“We wrestle for pins,” Stump said. “They give you more points (a pin is worth six and a decision four) and we needed the points tonight.”

Along with the four champions the Red Devils also had second place finishes by Daron Sampson (119) and Justin Price (140), a third place finish by Eddie Burrows (112) and a fourth place finish by Justin Ramsey (125).

The top four places advance to the state tournament. Dustyn Nichols (145) and Michael Roberts (189) finished fifth and would go to the state tournament should one of the top four finishers be unable to.

The final order of finish was (1) Calhoun 176, (2) Point Pleasant (171), (3) Herbert Hoover 170, (4) Roane County 148, (5) Clay 120, (6) Webster County 110, (7) Richwood 83, (8) Ravenswood 78, (9) Winfield 75, (10) Sissonville


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