Knights compete at OVAC
The Tyler Consolidated High School Silver Knight wrestlers took the opportunity to participate at the 62nd annual OVAC Wrestling Tournament last weekend at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Though the Silver Knights were not able to seat a champion this year, the six wrestlers representing Tyler Consolidated performed very well against some very skilled and knowledgeable opponents.
Action began on Jan. 15 with the opening ceremonies, featuring more than 500 wrestlers from 39 high schools in the Ohio Valley. As is tradition at the OVAC tournament, teams filed onto the mats one at a time to be recognized by the crowd in attendance. This year, teams were asked to select an individual who had impacted their wrestling program in a positive way, to lead them onto the mats. Tyler Consolidated’s choice could not have been any better with their selection of the first ever Silver Knight West Virginia State Wrestling Champion, Jason Snider. Snider won the title in 1999 under the direction of veteran coach Larry Richie in the 152 pound weight class.
“We felt our school’s first state champion would be a great person for the job,” said Silver Knight head wrestling coach, Chad Snider. “It was interesting to hear about all of the accomplished representatives each team selected to lead them. It made me realize how young our program is in comparison to many of the other schools.”
As a team, the Knights finished sixth out of the nine teams in the Class AAA division, and tied for 34th out of 42 teams. “It’s nothing to brag about,” the coach said. “But considering we only filled six out of the available 14 weight classes, it was expected.”
Snider said that although his team was not able to finish with any place winners at the tournament, there were some improvements made by individual wrestlers.
“Brandon Bonar, 106, hit that nice ducker-under I have been waiting to see all year in his consolation match, scoring him a quick takedown against Cambridge’s Alex Good,” the coach said.
“At 132, Colton Mead was unable to secure a victory, but showed his determination this weekend.
“The 145-pound Chase Cooper ended the tournament with a 3-2 record, with all three victories being pins. If he would have won another match, then he would have been on the podium. Cooper fell to the fifth seeded wrestler, Patrick Arneault of Oak Glen, after getting caught up in a near-side cradle.
“The 195-pound, Brandon Keys put some points on the board for the Knights with a pin against Beaver Local’s Reese Johnson.
“Nathan Eddy secured points at the 220 pound class when he earned a 10-0 major decision over Gabe McCardle of John Marshall, and our 285 pounder, Cory Chipps, impressed many by holding fifth seeded wrestler, Senior Darrell Soloman of Steubenville to an 11-4 decision.
“I would like to thank all the wrestlers for staying to support their teammates,” Snider said. “Makayla Tracy and Marisa Gogan both did a fine job taking care of the books.
“I am proud of everyone on the team, they did their best, and regardless of the end of the result, displayed good sportsmanship.”
The Silver Knight wrestlers will travel to Linsly on Jan. 21 and will host their first tri of the year on Jan. 28 at home.