Tyler Wrestlers Appear At Regions
Tyler Consolidated’s senior heavyweight wrestler Cory Chipps took to the mats this past Friday and Saturday at Fairmont as he participated in the WVSSAC Class A-AA Regional Wrestling Tournament. Chipps was pursuing his quest for the State Championship this coming weekend at Huntington.
Chipps has dominated the competition this season and, just last week, won the Ritchie County Class A meet. He nearly won the regional as he worked his way to the championship bout by defeating two of the high seed wrestlers in the 280 pound division. In the final meet he dominated the eventual champion before falling by decision 2-0 as time expired.
Chipps started the regional event with an opening round win over Weirton’s highly rated heavyweight, by an 8-3 decision, that he controlled from start to finish. In his next bout, he took on Keyser’s Steven White – another top seed who had earlier pinned Oak Glen’s William Minnis in 1:12 seconds. Chipps manhandled him as well in a bout that went the distance with the Silver Knight getting a big 8-0 decision.
This elevated Chipps to the championship match where he took on Fairmont Senior High School’s Zach Frazior for all the marbles. Chipps looked to be heading for a win as the two battled back and forth, but the bigger school athlete got two points to win the decision.
The region at Fairmont is considered to be the toughest in the state, so chances are Chipps – with his size and strength could – get a rematch and revenge this weekend. Either way, he has had a great season and is now 23-2 for the year.
The Silver Knights’ Sebastian Hooks, a senior first-time wrestler who is in the 220 weight division, took on a tough opening round match against East Fairmont’s Jacob Ogden. Hooks took a win by pin at the :20 second mark. He then went up against St. Mary’s Antone Herring, who dropped him into the consolation round with a pin. Hooks was eliminated by Fairmont Senior’s Rhett Herring, by pin.
Tyler’s Michael Doyle got a first round win in the 156 pound weight class over Magnolia’s Chris Wetzel with a quick pin at the :54 second mark to send him against Frankfort’s Noah Kiseka, dropping a 5-1 decision.
Doyle then fell to the consolation round where he got another win to stay alive with a pin over Keyser’s Austin Kitzmiller at the 3:43 mark. In his next bout, which would have sent him to Huntington, he lost a close hard fought decision to Cameron’s Johnnie Simms 1-0. Doyle finished his senior year as one of the Knights’ leaders and has been a good addition to their program for the past few years.
Cody Hunter, a junior who competes in the 138 pound class and has been a force most of the season, fell in his first match to Magnolia’s Gage Adams, in a battle that went the distance, losing 3-1. Hunter then went to the consolation round where he picked up a win over Petersburg’s Jacob Perez, before falling to Daxx Leonard of Fairmont Senior to end his season. Hunter promises to be back next year to bring the Knights some more excitement.
The Silver Knights also had Stephen Yost in the 132 lb class. Yost lost his first round match in a quick 43 second pin. He was then eliminated in his consolation match by Magnolia’s Devin Hardman.
“Unfortunately, for most, the regional tournament marked the end of the season,” Tyler wrestling coach Chad Snider stated. “The Region I A-AA is probably the toughest region in the entire state. I believe that many of the state finals matches have already been wrestled this weekend,” he noted.
Snider continued, “I am excited to report that Cory Chipps will be continuing his wrestling career down in Huntington at the State Championships in the 285 lb class. Cory earned a second place position after losing a close battle with the returning state champion, Zach Frazier of Fairmont Senior. We hope to meet Frazier again on the big stage in a couple of weeks to beat him where it counts.”
Snider said Hunter, Doyle, and Hooks secured wins but “came up shy of placing at the tournament.”
“Hunter had a really good season, and I hope he doesn’t let a few bad calls overshadow how much he improved this year. I look forward to coaching him next year.”
“Michael Doyle wrestled the best I had seen yet, but with such a tough weight class, wasn’t able to string together enough wins for a podium finish. I have been Michael’s coach and teacher for about seven years, and it has been nice having him around to help with the new wrestlers. He has done Cody Hunter a lot of good in the practice room, giving him someone challenging to wrestle.”
Snider said that Hooks “was also able to put some points on the board for the Knights, pinning Ogden from East Fairmont in 20 seconds. He would later wrestle Antone Herring when he suffered an injury, but would continue the match losing by pin. Unfortunately, the injury later proved to be too much for him to continue.”
Snider said other wrestlers that endured the tough season were Stevie Yost, Jacob Sharp, Chance Johnson, and Billy Anderson.
“This is not an easy sport; we started with 15 wrestlers and ended with nine. This sport requires a level of commitment that many aren’t able to give. Due to the competitive nature of the sport, many athletes eventually break mentally, if not physically, and choose to not continue the season,” Snider said.