by Jamie Harris
This time last year the Berkeley Springs High School Indians Wrestling Team was coming off an impressive fourth place finish at the Class A/AA Region I wrestling championships.
Three Tribe wrestlers had made the regional finals with Peyton Thompson winning his second regional title and Isaac Harris and Cole Morris finishing in second place. Four other Indian wrestlers had also punched their ticket to the state wrestling tournament. Later on at the state wrestling tournament Harris and Thompson finished in fourth place and Morris finished in sixth place.
With winter sports getting pushed back several times due to the Covid-19 the wrestling season is finally here. With the first official practice slated for February 15 the 2020-21 edition of the Indians wrestling team has roughly 16 days to prepare for their opening matches. Gone will be the bigger tournaments and replaced with tri and quad matches with the exception of the 36th Max Horz PVC Tournament, which will be ran in a unique way this season.
Five of those seven state qualifiers are back for second year head coach Derek Hovermale.
Senior P. Thompson (170) and sophomore Harris (126/132) both were fourth place state medalist last season and are looking to be on top of the podium in April.
State qualifiers sophomore Gabe Clark (145/152), junior Evan Thompson (160) and senior Landen Riggleman (182) also return and look to get on the state podium this year.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to have a wrestling season during these tough times. I am glad the seniors get one last chance to compete and try to reach the podium at states. I am looking forward to seeing which wrestlers can step up and be leaders for our team,” stated head coach Hovermale.
The 2021 season opens with the 36th Max Horz PVC Championships that will be held this year at Warm Springs Middle School on Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 6 at 10 a.m. The teams participating will be Berkeley Springs, East Hardy, Frankfort, Hampshire, Hedgesville, Keyser, Moorefield and Petersburg. On Friday the eight man individual tournament will feature only weight classes 106-145 and then on Saturday weight classes 152-285 will be wrestling. The WVSSA has set the attendance at events this year to only parents, grandparents and household members.