(02/05/2005)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

No one at the Braxton County High School Gymnasium Saturday was sure whether Calhoun set a record for margin of victory in the Little Kanawha Conference wrestling tournament but all agreed it was a dominating win.

The Red Devils rolled up 208 points to be runner-up St. Marys by a whopping 70.5. Clay took third with 118 followed by Braxton 101.5; Williamstown 88.5; Ritchie 64; Ravenswood 54; Wirt 46.5 and Roane 45. The win was the fourth straight LKC title for the Red Devils.

Calhoun won five individual championships including Justin Ramsey (125), Jaron Sampson (135) Andrew Cummings (135) Justin Price (152) and Paul Goodrich (171). Cummings, who beat Ravenswood's Judd Dennis in the championship match, was the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. The Red Devils placed nine wrestlers in the finals as 13 of the 14 Calhoun wrestlers placed in the top four.

Calhoun was so dominant that it had the team title mathematically wrapped up before the championship round, something that Red Devils coach Mike Stump thought may have cost his team a little.

"I told them we had it won before the finals started," Stump said. "In a way that may have been a mistake since they didn't wrestle offensively in the championship round. They wrestled great defensively but not offensively." Calhoun did have a lot of close matches in the finals including three they lost. The most frustrating, to Stump, may have been at 119 where Williamstown's Craig Johnson pinned Calhoun's Bryan Gungle with less than a minute remaining.

"Bryan had a 12-6 lead with: 35 to go," Stump said. "You don't lose a match when you have a six-point lead with that amount of time remaining. He made a mistake and it cost him."

The loss was even more frustrating since it appeared on at least two occasions Gungle had Johnson pinned. Gungle was one of four Red Devils to take second. Eddie Burrows, Dustyn Nichols and Dustin Whipkey also placed second.

Zac Yeager had a third for the Red Devils while Seth Jarvis, Caleb Hart and Michael Roberts were fourth. Stump said Calhoun would try to find a match during the next two weeks to keep sharp. If not the Red Devils will return to action in two weeks in the Class AA/A Region IV Tournament at Roane County.


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