ONA, W.Va. — And here we go again.
Mason County will have 16 grapplers competing Thursday at the 67th annual WVSSAC wrestling championships at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena after each grappler earned a top-four finish this past weekend at the 2014 regional tournaments held at Cabell Midland and Calhoun County high schools.
Point Pleasant had a dozen wrestlers advance in the Class AAA Region IV tournament at CMHS, while Wahama landed four state qualifiers in the Class AA-A Region IV championships held at CCHS. In all, half of the 16 grapplers will be making a repeat trip to the state meet.
The Big Blacks will be sending double-digit entries to Huntington for the eighth consecutive postseason, as the Big Blacks scored four individual regional championships while finishing second with 206.5 points. Huntington won the 10-team tournament with 255.5 points, while host Cabell Midland was third overall with 173.5 points.
Senior Guy Fisher, juniors Austin Rutter and Jon Peterson, and sophomore Hunter White each came away with regional titles in their respective weight classes. Fisher (126) and Rutter (152) will be making return trips to the AAA tournament, while Peterson (182) and White (160) are headed to state for the first time.
Senior John Raike (132) and sophomore Tannor Hill (195) each earned runner-up honors in their respective weight classes, while senior Caleb Leslie (106) and junior Jacob Duncan (220) also advanced to state with a pair of third place finishes.
Raike, Leslie and Duncan are repeat state qualifiers, while Hill will be making his first appearance at Big Sandy Superstore Arena for the state tournament. Sophomores Soctty Wilcox (113) and Dakota Swann (138), as well as freshmen Austin Wamsley (120) and Grant Safford (170), each finished fourth to earn their first state berths respectively.
In the Class AA-A regional tournament held at Calhoun County High School, Wahama came away with sixth place after earning two divisional titles en route to a score of 88 points. Calhoun County finished first with 200 points in the 11-team field, while Roane County (163.5) and Williamstown (156) rounded out the top three team spots.
Seniors Jacob Bennett and Kane Roush each earned first place in their respective weight classes, as Roush won the 170-pound division and Bennett claimed the 126-pound title. It is the fourth time that Roush has qualified for state, while Bennett picked up his first state berth.
Senior Randall Robie earned his third state appearance after finishing as the 132-pound runner-up, while Demetrius Serevicz was third overall in the 195 division — allowing the junior to secure his second state appearance.
The 2014 WVSSAC wrestling championships will be held Thursday through Saturday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.
Complete results of the Class AAA and Class AA-A regional wrestling tournaments are available on the web at wvmat.com