The team that captured the city of Parkersburg's 199th state championship also won its 200th.
Last Feb. 26, the Parkersburg South wrestling team won its third straight Class AAA state championship, putting the city that was the runnerup for TitleTown USA within one of a historic 200th state title.
Since that time, every other team at every city school has had its chance to win that title, but none could bring home the championship trophy.
That's what the South wrestling program did on Saturday. Did it in typical South fashion.
The Patriots won the title where many wrestling tournaments are won - in the consolation round. When Saturday dawned in Huntington, South stunningly found itself in second place behind an up-and-coming Ripley program that sooner or later is going to win its first state wrestling title.
But Saturday morning's consolation round virtually decided the issue as South entered Saturday night's finals with a near mathematical lock on the historic crown.
This title was one for the ages. It was South's fourth straight, meaning the senior members of the Patriots were part of state championship teams throughout their entire careers. It also made the 2009-2012 South teams only the second in state history to win four straight Class AAA state championships, joining the 1999-2002 Patriots on a list that includes no other school.
South has now won 18 state wrestling titles, 17 of those coming since 1983. In other words, over the past 30 years, South has won 17 championships, leaving just 13 for the rest of the state. Of the remaining 13, nine have gone to Parkersburg High and just four to teams outside the city.
South's formula is rather simple. It has an incredibly strong youth program, as well as dominating middle school teams.
It also has great coaching. When the Patriots won on Saturday night, it was the ninth time Paul Jackson had led South to the team title. He will retire with more Class AAA team championships than any other wrestling coach in state history.
South administrators have some big shoes to fill. Coaching South wrestling may look easy to those who just show up for matches, but it isn't. It takes a special person who can put together a talented staff and one who can deal with athletes in a sport that is more physically demanding than any other.
Let's hope those making the hiring decision make a wise choice regarding Jackson's successor. Nothing brings out the pride in Parkersburg South supporters like the wrestling program, which has nearly as many state titles as every other sport at the school combined.
It's quite appropriate the home of that program is named after the patriarch of South wrestling, Rod Oldham, who started the winning tradition that has been a part of South since the day it was created.
Now that the city has 200 state titles, there's only one thing left to do -win 200 more!
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org