Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle probably had it right when he came up with the idea that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
When it comes to wrestling at Parkersburg South High School, I think that fits Patriot head coach Paul Jackson's team pretty well.
Everyone who knows coach Jackson understands he's what one calls a perfectionist. Even though perfection is usually an unrealistic goal in any sport, coach Jackson always wants to see the best from his team and everyone competing.
"I get in their face every once in a while, but usually I don't have to," Jackson said of keeping his team focused.
During Wednesday night's home triangular, Patriot Damon Gandee pulled off an upset when he scored a second period pin against sixth-ranked Austin Bland of North Marion.
"That was a shocker to me for us to go out and pin that kid," Jackson admitted of Gandee's mat slapper. "I mean, I don't ever doubt any of my kids and what they can do."
Of course, Gandee was actually wrestling up a weight class from his normal 152 slot, where he backs up Stewart Morris, because regular 160-pounder Jake Alexander was sick and out of the lineup.
"That was tremendous for Gandee to do something like that," added the coach. "Again, you know, that's a testimony to our program when you can stick someone in there and beat a quality kid like that."
It will be interesting to see if the Patriots, winners of 107 consecutive dual matches, will be challenged during the next two days at the West Virginia Duals.
Three-time state champion and current Patriot 126-pound senior David Jeffrey is ready for things to get going, but he'd also like to have a regular lineup for once. However, that's not going to happen this weekend.
"We've stepped up to the plate so far every time and I'm hoping we are going to do the same this weekend," Jeffrey said.
While Jeffrey is expected to capture a fourth title next month, fellow senior teammate Steven Brogle is hoping to claim his first state crown after taking third place last year.
Brogle, who has competed at both 182 and 195 this season, is coming off an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference title where he was named the Hercules Award winner for the second straight season after he pinned all five of his opponents in less than 11 minutes.
"I didn't even know they had an award like that last year," Brogle admitted. "This year I was hunting for it. I was going after it. I just went out there and tried to throw kids on their back as quick as I could.
"The OVAC is just a small step. It was one of my goals and I got it, but my main goal is winning state."
Brogle said, "I think all of us look at coach as a dad," and that's why they don't want to see that dual winning streak stopped anytime soon.
"It's been going on for four years now and I don't want to be the team that shuts it down," he added.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org