Clark, Morgan, Cain, Gageby, Clark & Wilt punch tickets to states
by Jamie Harris
All season long the Berkeley Springs Indians wrestling team took some lumps at the hands of some of the state’ s best. All this in preparation for this past weekend’s Class A/AA Region I Wrestling Championships at the Fairmont Field House. The Indians had several wrestlers come into the event with top seeds, but the rest of the young team were seeded fourth or lower in their respective weight classes. However, when the odds are stacked against a wrestler, especially a Berkeley Springs wrestler, they rise to the challenge.
When the dust settled Saturday evening the Indians had 8 wrestlers qualify for the Class A/AA State Wrestling Championships, 3 others who finished in fifth place to earn alternate status, and two others finish in sixth place. With that the Tribe had brought 13 wrestlers to the regional event and all 13 placed in the top six of their respective weight classes. To top it off the Indians edged out #3 Oak Glen for second place in the team standings by 2 1⁄2 points, giving the Indians back-to- back second place regional runners-up. It took a complete team effort, but the Tribe showed why they can never be counted out.
Leading the way for the Indians were senior Isaac Harris (150) and sophomore Evan Zombro (157) who blazed their way through the first two rounds to advance to the championship finals.
Harris opened the tournament with a bye in the first round. In the championship quarterfinals Harris faced Isaac Mayle (St. Mary’ s). Harris pinned Mayle in 1:59 to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Harris faced Delbert VanTassel (Cameron). Once again Harris was on the attack and pinned VanTassel in 5:26. In the championship finals, Harris faced Gavin Michael (Fairmont Senior) with the first period ending in a 0-0 score. In the second period Harris proved to be tough on top as he kept the Polar Bear wrestler on the mat to end the period at 0-0. In the third period Harris worked hard to earn an escape to go up 1-0 and then used the rest of the period controlling Michael on his feet to wrap up his second straight regional championship and fourth trip to the state wrestling tournament.
Zombro opened the tournament with a bye in the first round. In the championship quarterfinals Zombro pinned Ben Bryan (Weir) in 53 seconds.
In the championship semifinals Zombro faced Jordan Davis (Magnolia) and recorded the pin at 2:53. In the championship finals Zombro faced Michael Heath (Oak Glen). In a match that went back and forth Zombro was able to hold off the Golden Bear wrestler to record an 11- 5 decision and his second straight regional championship.
Six other Indian wrestlers also punched their ticket to the Class A/AA State Wrestling Championships. Sophomore Daniel Clark (113) punched his ticket to his first state wrestling tournament with a fourth-place finish. Clark got a bye in the first round and in the quarterfinals pinned Caden Vaughn (Frankfort) in 5:12. Clark lost to Logan Davis (Oak Glen) in the semifinals by fall. In the consolation semifinals Clark battled from behind to record a 6-4 overtime decision over Riley Trotto (East Fairmont). In the third-place match Clark lost 2- 1 to Kaden Huffman (Tyler Consolidated) to finish fourth.
Freshman Jacob Morgan (120) started his tournament off with a 9-4 loss to Colsen Spragg (Tyler Consolidated). In the consolation quarterfinals Morgan pinned Somya Cottingham (East Fairmont) in 2:43. In the consolation semifinals Morgan pulled a huge upset win over Will Stewart (Fairmont Senior) with a pin at 4:55. In the third-place match Morgan faced Spragg again and lost by a 6-2 decision.
Sophomore Aiden Cain (138) received a bye in the first round. In the championship quarterfinals Cain pinned Hunter Werkau (Magnolia) in 5:32. Cain then faced Hunter Spitnogle (Fairmont Sr.) and lost by fall at 1:32. In the consolation semifinals Cain pinned Logan Graham (Oak Glen) in 3:29. In the third-place match Cain pinned Tanner Detrick (Keyser) in 57 seconds.
Junior Will Gageby (144) had to take a tougher path to his state berth In the first round Gageby pinned Jacob Stillwagner (Paden City) in 45 seconds. In the championship quarterfinals Gageby lost 11- 1 to Ashton Hoge (Cameron). In the consolation second round Gageby pinned Eli Hesse (Frankfort) in 1:24. In the consolation quarterfinals Gageby pinned Noah Wince (St. Mary’ s) in 2:43. In the consolation quarterfinals Gageby picked up a 4-3 decision over Branson Winfrey (Tyler Consolidated). In the third-place match Gageby lost a 7-1 decision to Shawn Young (Weir).
Senior Gabe Clark (175) received a bye in the first round. In the championship quarterfinals Clark pinned Isaac Lucious (Wheeling Central) in 38 seconds. In the championship semifinals Clark lost a 12-5 decision to Adam Angel (Cameron). In the consolation semifinals Clark bounced back and pinned Joey Barganski (Oak Glen) in 50 seconds. In the third-place match Clark lost a 10-8 decision to Germaine Lewis (Fairmont Senior) to earn his third straight state championship berth.
Junior Brady Wilt (215) received a bye in the first round. In the championship quarterfinals Wilt pinned Breenan Matheny (Fairmont Sr.) in 2:49. In the championship semifinals Wilt lost a 4-1 decision to Isaac Martin (Wheeling Central). In the consolation semi- finals Wilt bounced back to take a 6-0 win over Alias Pugh (Weir). In the third-place match Wilt picked up a 26 second pin over Noah Schmidt (Oak Glen).
The Indians had three wrestlers finish in fifth place and earn alternate status. This means if a wrestler in their weight class cannot make it to the state tournament, they would step into the #4 spot. Even though they missed out on qualifying for the state tournament these three grapplers earned valuable team points to help the Indians earn the second-place team finish. Freshman Eligah Parsell (106) went 4-2, Trent Fox (132) went 4-2, and Kollin Sullivan (165) went 3-2 to finish in fifth place in their respective weight classes.
Finishing sixth for the Tribe were Adyn Laird (126) and Krystian Norris.
The 2023 WV Class A/AA State Wrestling Championships are scheduled for March 2-4 at the Mountain Health Arena in Huntington, WV.
The team scores are as follows.
Fairmont Senior 281.50
Berkeley Springs 217.50
Oak Glen 215.00
East Fairmont 129.00
Weir High 75.00
Wheeling Central Catholic 53.00
North Marion 43.00
St. Mary’s 37.50
Paden City 4.00