PARKERSBURG - The annual wrestling showdown for Wood County bragging rights is set for a 7 p.m. start today inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as host Parkersburg South welcomes rival Parkersburg High.
Parkersburg South first-year head mat coach Donna Dixon has experienced an up-and-down season thus far with the Patriot wrestlers. Last weekend, PSHS had less than half of a full lineup when the Patriots finished 11th at the Nelsonville-York Invitational. Patriot 138-pounder Dylan Alexander was the only wrestler to win his weight class.
Alexander or fellow 138-pound Patriot Tyler Richards will take to the mat tonight against expected Big Red foe Skyler Terrell. Terrell, along with 182-pounder Jared Haught and Tyler Riddle at 220, are the only three Big Reds who won matches last year versus Parkersburg South.
Photos by Jay W. Bennett
Parkersburg South’s Jordan Quiocho participates in a match against Buckhannon.
The Patriots, who have captured four consecutive Class AAA state crowns and are going after a record breaking fifth, haven't lost to PHS in the annual city dual since 2008 when the red and white prevailed 36-26 inside Memorial Fieldhouse. Since that '08 season, though, the Patriots have owned the Big Reds. Aside from last year's 55-15 victory, Parkersburg South owns 55-9, 57-12 and 68-9 triumph from 2011 dating back through 2009.
"The plan is we are going to have a full lineup. That is the plan," said Dixon about hopefully filling all 14 weight classes tonight.
In order for that to happen, coach Dixon said a couple of wrestlers had to heal up a little more or get medical clearance from a doctor.
Despite having a gutted lineup last weekend, coach Dixon noted "the six kids who went wrestled amazing."
Parkersburg head coach Chris Way's Big Reds, coming off a weekend sweep of University, Brooke and East Fairmont, were unable to field a full lineup during that quadrangular. PHS had to forfeit both the 170 and 195 weight classes.
While the Patriots have several weight classes which could be filled this evening by a couple of different wrestlers, coach Dixon said if heavyweight Dane Mills was unable to go then that weight class likely would result in a forfeit. "If Dane can't go then we may have a problem," she said.
Coach Dixon noted the biggest issues recently for the Patriots have been "a lot of injury and sickness. The flu hit us very hard.
"Hopefully, we are getting ahead of it now. We had a lot of people out with the flu and different kinds of things."
Coach Way's squad also has been dealing with health issues and won't be at 100 percent. PHS is expected to forfeit at 170.
"We've had a few guys go down in weight," said Way, who noted 170 might be void for the red and white the rest of the season. "Our lineup has been pretty inconsistent all year.
"The only match the entire season we had our starting lineup was the first match of the year. We've had junior varsity guys bouncing in and out of the lineup. It's been a slew of different guys."
Coach Way is expecting a good showing from his team tonight and hopefully a better ending than what has been the case recently. One bit of good news for PHS, which has just 10 individual wins in the last four city duals, is 195-pounder Adam Lindamood is likely to return this evening.
"If you look at it on paper we can win a lot more matches than that," Way said. "We're not wrestling on paper, though. You have to go out and perform.
"You get the guys ready just like any other match, but it does have more importance because it's your crosstown rival. You want to go out, put your best foot forward and show the talents you got."