by Jamie Harris
This past Friday and Saturday, January 13 and 14, the members of the Berkeley Springs Indians wrestling team were in Braxton County for the Braxton Invitational Wrestling Tournament. With 18 teams competing the com- petition would be tough and the Indian grapplers knew they would be in for fight if they wanted to capture indi- vidual championships.
On Friday evening the event kicked off and from the start, Braxton County and Berkeley Springs let the com- petition know they were the best two teams in the event. After the first four rounds of competition the Indians had nine wrestlers advancing to Saturday’ s championship semifinals.
Leading the charge were Eligah Parsell (106), Daniel Clark (113), Jacob Morgan (120), Will Gageby (144), Isaac Harris (150), Evan Zombro (157), Gabriel Clark (165), Krystian Norris (175) and Brady Wilt (215).
In addition to seven other wrestlers in the consolation bracket looking to earn a top six placement. As a team the Tribe trailed the Eagles by five points at the end of the night.
On Saturday the Indians continued to battle in the consolation rounds and chip at the Braxton lead. However, in the championship semifinals the Eagles were able to pull away from Berkeley Springs. In the semifinals the Indians were only able to get four wins as Morgan, Harris, Zombro and Norris all pulled out wins. Dropping to the consolation rounds the Indians still had 13 of 14 weight classes still competing in addition to one B team wrestler Chase Stotler (144).
After a long day of wrestling and the Indians battling the Tribe was still set- ting in second place in the team standings before the championship finals. Prior to the finals Eligah Parsell (third place), Daniel Clark (third place), Will Gageby (third place), Brady Wilt (third place), Trent Fox (fourth place), Aiden Cain (fifth place), Chase Stotler (fifth place), Gabriel Clark (sixth place) and DeMario Cook (sixth place) locked up a trip on the podium.
Freshman Jacob Morgan (120) kicked things off for the Indians in the finals against Greenbrier West’ s Tucker Lilly. Morgan battled tough in the first period before Lilly secured the win by pin.
Next up was senior Isaac Harris (150) who came into the finals dominating his bracket with two first period pins. Harris was facing Ian Persinger of Calhoun County. Harris wasted no time in get- ting a takedown and putting the Calhoun wrestler on his back and building a 10-0 lead after the first period. The second period Harris used a takedown and immediately put Persinger on his back for the pin. Harris did not give up a single point to his opponents in the tournament.
Sophomore Evan Zombro (157) followed up by taking on Braxton County’ s Logan Bennett. Zombro struck first with a takedown and a three point near fall to go up 5-0. Bennett would get an escape and Zombro would follow with another takedown to make the score 7-1 lead after the first period. In the second period Zombro would chose bottom and get a quick reversal to make the score 9-1 before Bennett would get another escape to cut the score to 9-2. Zombro would get another takedown to take a 11- 2 at the end of two periods. In the third period Bennett would get an escape and a takedown to make the score 11-5 before Zombro got an escape to go up 12-5. Bennett would then get another take-down to make the score 12-7. Zombro would get an escape to push his lead to 13-7 before Bennett got a point on a stall call to make the final score 13-8 and a second title for the Indians. Zombro would later be named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
In the 175 lb. championship finals sophomore Krystian Norris faced Braxton County’ s Jackson Davis. Davis used a quick takedown and pinned Norris early in the first period. Norris second place finish was a pleasant surprise for the Indians as he came into the tournament unseeded.
As a team the Tribe finished second to the host Braxton County. Team and individual results are found below.
The Indians will be traveling to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) this Wednesday, January 18 for tri meet with the Blue Storm and St. James (Md.) at 4:30 p.m.. Then on Saturday, January 21 the Indians will host Shippensburg (Pa.) at 10 a.m. in a dual match. At 9:45 a.m., the Indians will host senior recognition for Gabriel Clark, DeMario Cook, Isaac Harris, Katelyn Hess and Kaydence Tranter.
Braxton County 247.50
Berkeley Springs 213.50
Herbert Hoover 167.00
Greenbrier West 166.50
Nicholas County 94.00
Shady Spring 94.00
Wheeling Central 85.00
Calhoun County 83.00
Midland Trail 47.00
Philip Barbour 37.00
South Charleston 7.00