Wildcats Compete in Annual OVAC Wrestling Tournament
Paden City marked 2017-18 with its first wrestling team in school history. During the the first half of the season, the wrestlers – coached by Mike Owens and Assistant Mike Shreves – have discovered the sport is not for the faint of heart. Yet, although the wrestlers are in a first-year program, they have worked hard from the beginning of the season. They have progressed to a point where they are making some noise on the wrestling scene.
The ‘Cats have been plagued by injuries from the start, but most of the team members have fought their way through and continue to perform. The Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling tournament is one of the largest high school athletic meets in the country, and year in and year out, the best around compete. Paden City’s wrestlers never experienced anything like this, yet they never backed down and did quite well.
Wildcat senior Rander Amos made school history when he won his first match of the tournament on Thursday night over Morgantown’s Jeffery Sinclair by pin. Amos then advanced to Friday’s second round of the championship; he was decisioned by the number five seed Logan Krulik. The defeat still kept Amos alive, however, as he moved into the loser’s bracket for a chance to move on. In his second match of the day, on Friday, he was again defeated in a close match by decision on points to Charles Smith of Beaver Local. Amos was, by far, the strongest wrestler in his class; however, the lack of experience and knowledge of moves proved to be too much to overcome. It was a good way for the Wildcats to gain some respect in the OVAC.
Also wrestling for the ‘Cats was Doneven Clark in the 132 pound weight class. He was pinned in the first round and fell in the second round by decision, despite putting up a tough fight. Bryce Hunt lost his first round bout to the number one seed, Beau Smith of Beaver Local, by pin at the 3:18 mark. He then fell in the second round to finish his day. Michael Shreves started his first match against the number six seed, Brayden Starkey of Indian Creek. Shreves put up a good battle before losing on a fall, to send him into the loser’s bracket. In his second match, he dropped a hard fought decision to University’s Will Miller.
Ryan Cross picked up a win in the first round on a bye and then fell to number one seed, Braxton Amos from Parkersburg South. Braxton Amos is the state’s number one ranked wrestler. Cross was pinned in a learning experienced 16 seconds. Moving on to the second round, he went up against Fort Frye’s Cameron Camp and fell by pin late in the match.
“I am very happy with our performance, especially Amos getting a pin in the first round,” said Coach Owens. “That was big for our program.”
“We knew going in it was going to be tough, but we have some tough kids that just lack experience. I believe if we would have had a program two or three years ago, we would have given a better performance. However, I am satisfied and looking forward to the rest of the season and next year as well,” said Owens.