Four Silver Knight wrestlers gain podium slots at tourney
After the long forced break from the mats, thanks to the closure of Tyler County Schools due to the flu, the Tyler Consolidated High School wrestling program picked up right where they left off, minus of course, holding their own tournament.
The Larry Richie Memorial Wrestling Tournament had to be cancelled on Dec. 20 and with no room on the schedule to fit it in this year, the tournament is planned for next Dec.
With such a long break from practice and competition, coaches and wrestlers alike were more than likely concerned with weight issues.
“After getting back to practice after our flu issues at the school, I feared we would be starting back at square one, but to my surprise most of the Knights wrestlers handled the break well,” said Silver Knight head wrestling coach, Chad Snider.
“It is unfortunate that we won’t be making up the Larry Richie Memorial Tournament, but we will try to get into the Magnolia Invitational on February 14 to makeup for lost matches. The young team mostly came back at weight, which requires more self-control and mental toughness than most people can handle, especially through the holidays.”
“Freshman tend to struggle more than upperclassmen when watching their weight. The rapid weight cutting of times past has been curbed by a computer program that requires coaches to enter weights after every competition in order to be eligible for the next one. After competing at the natural weight, many feel the need to go to a lower weight class, although never a requirement from coaches.”
“Being divided by weight in competition teaches these youngsters about accountability and the Knights were held accountable for their weight this past weekend at the Cameron Tri-State Tournament. Even though icey road conditions delayed the tournament by two hours, the wrestlers were thankful to be on the mats again.”
At the Cameron tournament on Saturday, Tyler Consolidated managed to fill seven of the 14 weight classes and of those seven, four placed on the podium.
Junior Chase Cooper finished the day with an impressive 4-1 record, earning him third place overall in the 145 lb. weight class at the tournament. Brandon Bonar placed fourth in the 113 weight division; Brandon Keys, wrestling at 195, took fourth; and Cory Chipps, heavyweight, brought home a fourth place medal.
In the team scoring, the Silver Knights finished 11th out of 14 at Cameron.
Both the high and middle schools will travel to Barnesville High School for a match with them and Beallsville on Jan. 7. Next week the Knights will have the opportunity to participate in the larger-than-life OVAC tournament which will take place at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling Jan. 15-17.