Big Blacks take Day 1 lead


Point goes 12-1 overall, Wahama winless in opening matches

By Bryan Walters - [email protected]



Point Pleasant senior Colby Price, middle, tries to pin an opponent as coaches James Casto and John Bonecutter look on during a 220-pound opening round match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va.

Point Pleasant senior Colby Price, middle, tries to pin an opponent as coaches James Casto and John Bonecutter look on during a 220-pound opening round match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Wahama junior Trey Ohlinger, right, maintains leverage on an opponent during a 220-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Justin Bartee lifts an opponent in the air during a 145-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In their quest for history, the Big Blacks have already started things with a bang.

The Point Pleasant wrestling team notched a dozen wins and holds a 22.5-point lead over the Class AA-A field after the opening night of competition at the 75th annual WVSSAC Championships being held at Mountain Health Arena on Thursday evening.

The Big Blacks — who are shooting for the program’s first-ever 4-peat as state champions — didn’t have a perfect opening night like the previous two postseason runs, but the 3-time reigning AA-A champions did record 11 pinfall wins en route to 46 points.

Both Cameron — the current Class A leader — and Fairmont Senior are tied for second after the first night of action with 23.5 points. A total of 37 different schools scored at least two points (one victory) on Thursday night.

Wahama was not one of the programs with an opening-night victory in the Class AA-A field as the White Falcons had all three of their state qualifiers fall in opening round bouts. Wahama is guaranteed not to have its first-ever state champion come from this weekend’s meet.

PPHS had one incredibly impressive streak come to an end on Thursday night when junior Luke Moffitt was defeated in the 182-pound match by Bryce Leegan of Braxton County.

Including the previous nine matches on Thursday evening, Point Pleasant had won 38 consecutive opening-night matches at the state tournament … a streak that started with Jacob Muncy’s heavyweight victory to end the opening round of the 2019 Class AA-A tournament.

The Big Blacks also lost one grappler in the competition this weekend when sophomore Tanner Epling didn’t make weight for the 106-pound division.

Point Pleasant started the night with eight straight pinfall victories and ended the evening with three straight pinfall wins. Senior Ethan Marcum recorded an 8-6 victory at 170 pounds and served as the last of the 38 straight opening-night victories.

Nathan Wood (113), Conner Blessing (120), Gunner Andrick (126), Ciah Nutter (132), Mackandle Freeman (138), Justin Bartee (145), Josh Woyan (152), Derek Raike (160), Brayden Connolly (195), Colby Price (220) and Kolton Weaver (285) all advanced in their respective championship brackets with pinfall victories.

The White Falcons had a pair of grapplers — Kase Stewart (138) and Trey Ohlinger (220) — lose by respective decisions of 6-1 and 5-3. Logan Roach was also pinned in his opening round match at 152 pounds.

Day 2 will consist of the second and third sessions on Friday, while Day 3 will feature the fourth and fifth sessions on Saturday. The fifth session will consist of the state championship finals and begin at 6:30 p.m.

© 2022 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Point Pleasant senior Colby Price, middle, tries to pin an opponent as coaches James Casto and John Bonecutter look on during a 220-pound opening round match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2022/03/web1_3.5-PP-Price.jpgPoint Pleasant senior Colby Price, middle, tries to pin an opponent as coaches James Casto and John Bonecutter look on during a 220-pound opening round match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Wahama junior Trey Ohlinger, right, maintains leverage on an opponent during a 220-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2022/03/web1_3.5-WAH-Ohlinger.jpgWahama junior Trey Ohlinger, right, maintains leverage on an opponent during a 220-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Justin Bartee lifts an opponent in the air during a 145-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2022/03/web1_PP-Bartee.jpgPoint Pleasant senior Justin Bartee lifts an opponent in the air during a 145-pound match at the 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships on Thursday night in Huntington, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)Bryan Walters|OVP Sports
Point goes 12-1 overall, Wahama winless in opening matches

By Bryan Walters

[email protected]

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.