The Times West Virginian

February 28, 2013

Area wrestlers have plenty to be proud of this season

Times West Virginian

— Our sports staff dubbed Marion County’s four state champion wrestlers the “Fantastic Four,” and that is good enough for us.

The “Fantastic Four” — two from East Fairmont High School, one from Fairmont Senior and one from North Marion High School — were among the most skilled wrestlers in the state this year. Those state championship plaques that each of them was awarded bear that statement.

Unlike most sports that operate under a team concept, wrestling is an individual sport. All wrestlers play on teams and their scores count with their team’s scores. When a wrestler goes onto the mat, he may have coaches, relatives and fans yelling encouragement to him, but basically he is on his own. It’s just him versus his opponent. There is no one on the mat to assist him.

Jesse Roman, Ryan Elliott, Anthony Alvaro and Garrett Onderko each went to the mat countless times during the past season. Roman and Elliott finished undefeated. Alvaro and Onderko came close to a perfect record.

Roman, who wrestled at 195 pounds, said that “I did what I had to throughout the tournament and I stuck everybody. I was on a mission. I accomplished all my goals for the season and I’m very happy about it.”

Roman, an East Fairmont senior, competed 54 times and won 54 times.

Elliott was almost as good, finishing with a 49-0 record.

“It feels great to be a state champion,” the North Marion athlete said. “It feels great that all of my hard work has paid off.”

Onderko brought back a great record of 52-4 from the championship meet in Huntington and he didn’t allow his opponents during the first two days to score a single point.

“I said from the beginning that I wasn’t going to lose this match,” the East Fairmont wrestler said afterward. “I accomplished my goals and it feels awesome.”

Alvaro posted a 9-3 win over his 145-pound opponent to claim his state title. He, too, was elated.

“I just had to go out there and do my best,” said the Fairmont Senior High junior standout, “while throwing records out the window. I had to go hard so there would be no regrets.” His final record was 49-2.

The Times West Virginian salutes these four young athletes, along with the numerous state-qualifying wrestlers from the area, on the outstanding records they posted in 2012-13. We know the residents of Marion County are proud of them as well.