Knight’s Cooper heads to state tourney
The Tyler Consolidated High School wrestling team competed at the Class A/AA Region I Championships on Feb. 20-21 at Oak Glen High School in Newell, W.Va., returning home with one wrestler qualifying for a state tournament berth.
Junior, Chase Cooper, wrestling at the 145 lb. weight class wrestled his way to a third place finish, putting him on the podium at tournament’s end, which earned him the right to represent Tyler Consolidated and Region I at the State Tournament this weekend.
“Chase Cooper went into the tournament seeded 4th,” said Knight head coach, Chad Snider. “Chase’s first match had us on the edge of our seat. He won the match against North Marion’s David Harris 14-10. In the next bout, Chase fell to the number one seed Dalton Michael from East Fairmont in the semi-finals.”
“He fought his way back through the consolation bracket to earn his trip to the state tournament. Chase pinned his way to third defeating Colton Kirby from Clay Battelle with a tight headlock that came out of a scramble in the first period.”
At the tournament, the small Silver Knight squad performed very well, with a couple finishing just out of podium status. “The team’s performance was definitely the best we have seen from them this year,” said the coach. “They stepped up to the competition and faced pressure well.”
“Brandon Keys and Cory Chipps both were just shy of qualifying to wrestle at the state tournament earning 5th and 6th respectively,” coach Snider said. “Brandon’s record was 3-2 on the weekend, one victory being a redemption of an earlier loss to Magnolia’s Joel Hatfield. Brandon lost 3-1 to both the champ of his weight class and the fourth place finisher.”
“In both matches, I felt he was the aggressor, while the other wrestlers were mostly defensive, but stall calls and so forth weren’t happening like they usually do. When one wrestler has 10-15 shots to the other wrestlers 2-3, it should be obvious to the official who is working to score and who is not. As a coach, you can fight for your kid and mention those things to the official, but you never really know if it helps him.”
“Cory has really came a long way. If you don’t know who Cory Chipps is yet, you will. He is a freshman heavyweight with an already impressive stature at 6’4″ 275 lbs. He finished 6th with a 2-3 record on the weekend. He was the only freshman placing with all upperclassmen at heavyweight, that is no small accomplishment.”
The Silver Knights also had three other wrestlers competing at the tournament: Nathan Eddy, Brandon Bonar and Colton Mead.
“Nathan Eddy without a question wrestled the best we had seen all year,” said Snider. “For being sick all week and not able to practice, he did well. His final loss (2-1) of the tournament was to Brian Wilson of Magnolia who eventually earned 5th place.”
“Also, I was really happy to have Brandon Bonar and Colton Mead wrestling with us all year and at Regionals. I think that both of you have improved greatly, and that is success! These guys have “weathered the storm” being freshmen in a difficult sport. If you can do that, you will be a stronger individual in the end. The toughest year is over.”
As a team, the Silver Knights finished in 11th place overall with 44 points at the Regional of the 13 teams collecting points. The host team from Oak Glen, took the team win with 206 points followed by North Marion with 200 points; Fairmont Senior, 161.50; East Fairmont, 158; Magnolia, 131; Madonna, 124; Ritchie County, 95.50; St. Marys, 70; Cameron, 65; Clay-Battelle, 52.50; Tyler Consolidated; Weirton, 41; and Doddridge county, 19 points.
At press time, Cooper was scheduled to wrestle on the first day of the State Tournament, which is Thursday evening at the Big Sandy Arena in Huntington. The tournament bracket shows Cooper (34-7), going up against Wirt County’s Tyler Brannon (32-12) who earned the runner-up slot in this weight class in Region 4. The winner of this match will move to the top bracket, while the other will wrestle in the elimination round.
“We’d like every one that can, to come out and support our lone wrestler, Chase Cooper, at state this weekend,” coach Snider said. “I could not be happier to be state bound!”