The trophies line an entire shelf in Ryan Elliott’s room, serving as small mementos of his victories from pee-wee wrestling all the way up to his state championship last season.
Saturday, the North Marion senior added another piece of hardware to the collection. The 126-pounder will have to make some room on the trophy shelf after taking first place in his weight class at the Winner’s Choice tournament at the Woody Williams Armory. He was one of 11 from Marion County to make the podium.
“He was aggressive and strong,” Elliott said after defeating Musselman’s Bradley DeRito in a 5-2 decision. “I just looked for openings. That’s how I wrestle. I look to see what I can get, and it worked out for me.”
Elliott went 4-0 on the weekend to claim his second-straight Winner’s Choice title. He said that the 30-team, 387-wrestler tournament with Class AA and AAA teams from Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia will help to prepare him for a state tournament run later this season.
“There are powerhouses from (Class) AA and AAA here. It’s just a lot of good wrestling,” he said. “Getting to wrestle back-to-back hard matches in tournament-style wrestling, it all leads up to the state tournament.”
Plenty of others from Marion County also added to their trophy collections. North Marion’s 138-pounder Austin Stanley took fourth, 106-pounder Joe Efaw placed seventh and 152-pounder Justin Efaw claimed eight to help the Huskies finish 12th as a team.
For East Fairmont, 145-pounder Dalton Michael and 152-pounder Hayden Stewart wrestled their way to third place, Brody Nesselrotte took fourth place at 132 pounds and Cam Stewart claimed eighth at 170 pounds in the Bees’ 14th-place finish.
And for 18th-place Fairmont Senior, 220-pounder Vincent Delligatti placed second, 145-pounder Anthony Alvaro earned fifth and 285-pounder Brent Barber wrestled to sixth.
Delligatti, a who entered the event as a defending champion, wasn’t satisfied with his result, though only one grappler placed ahead of him.
“No one is pleased with getting second place,” he said after dropping a 5-2 decision to Preston’s Terrance Fanning. “It’s not very fun.”
The senior has been defeated just twice all season, both times at the hand of Fanning. He said that even though he lost, he learned some things that will help him should he face the Class AAA opponent later in the year at the Big 10 conference tournament.
“I did a lot better than I did last time. I should get another shot at him. I think I know what to do next time,” he said.
Like Elliott, Delligatti also saw the tournament as a good way to prepare for the post-season.
“I’d love to win this but all that matters is what happens in February,” he said. “My main goal is still the state title.”
In the team standings, Parkersburg finished first with 226.5 points, followed by Point Pleasant in second with 167.5 points and Musselman in third with 145.
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.