ORLANDO, Fla. — Another major breakthrough for wrestling in Point Pleasant.
The Mothmen Wrestling Club finished second in pool competition and third overall within its division at the 2019 Disney Duals held at the Wide World of Sports Complex on the grounds of Walt Disney World.
MWC — which serves as Point Pleasant’s offseason wrestling club — followed up the Big Blacks’ fourth Class AA state championship this past winter by qualifying for the annual national event in Florida.
The Mothmen also turned the vacation destination into a working trip after winning 74 percent of their 156 total matches over seven days from June 18 through June 24.
Overall, MWC collectively posted a 115-41 record in individual contests and went 5-1 in Pool U competition — which resulted in advancing to the championship round of the Gold Pool.
The Mothmen dropped a 37-25 decision to Troy Christian (OH) to start the dual-team tournament, but then rallied with five consecutive wins over Max Performance (77-0), Montana Sidney (80-0), Venice (81-0), Marianna SWAT (65-9) and Oregon Clay (78-6).
In advancing to the Gold Pool finals, MWC opened the championship round by claiming a 52-24 victory over the Oak Harbor Rockets (OH). The Mothmen posted a 33-27 victory over Rip Tide (GA) in the quarterfinals, but ultimately dropped a 39-25 decision to 2018 champions Social Circle (GA) in the semis.
MWC did earn a bit of redemption in its final bout after claiming a 42-25 triumph over Troy Christian in the third place event.
Somerset (FL) ultimately came away with the Gold Pool title after knocking off Social Circle in the championship dual.
The Mothmen had a dozen individuals place in the top-four of their respective weight classes, with three grapplers going unbeaten en route to gold medal honors.
Mackandle Freeman and Parker Henderson both went 5-0 at 106 pounds, while reigning Class AA 106-pound champion Isaac Short went unbeaten in 10 matches at 113 pounds.
Reigning 120-pound Class AA champion Derek Raike joined Logan Southall in silver medal honors as both grapplers went 9-1 overall at 126 pounds and 170-182 pounds, respectively.
Christopher Smith (120), George Smith (132) and reigning 126-pound Class AA champion Justin Bartee (138) each came away with bronze medal performance with identical 8-2 marks.
Mitchell Freeman (145), Zac Samson (160), Wyatt Stanley (220) and Jacob Muncy (285) all came away with 7-3 records and copper medal honors.
Wyatt Wilson (152), Ethan Marcum (170-182), Nick Ball (195) and Juan Marquez (195) also participated on behalf of the Mothmen Wrestling Club.
“I am very proud of how hard our guys competed,” MWC coach John Bonecutter said. “We beat some really good team from all around the country, and the kids wrestled really well. This is a special group of young men.”
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.