Times West Virginian
On the final day of wrestling for the 2013-14 season, five wrestlers from Marion County were able to solidify themselves into West Virginia wrestling history and bring home state titles.
Fairmont Senior, which tied for fifth as a team in the tournament, had three wrestlers come home with championships while another placed fourth.
“We had a great night,” Fairmont Senior coach Mark Delligatti said of the outcome. “I could be the happiest guy in the world.”
Anthony Alvaro, Vincent Delligatti and Brent Barber all turned in outstanding performances to finish on top.
Alvaro was pitted against a familiar opponent for the 145-pound Class AA/A state championship in Cody Clifton of Independence. Clifton had beaten Alvaro earlier this season but it would be Alvaro who would reign supreme Saturday night with an impressive 11-2 win.
“He gutted out one of the best matches I’ve ever seen,” Delligatti noted.
Later in the night his son, Vincent, would grind out a 2-1 victory over Zane Weese of Herbert Hoover for the 220-pound title.
Both coach and son shared a moment together after the match, and Mark told his son that he was more proud of him than he was of himself when he won his own state title.
“He’s worked his tail off. To see all he put into it, I had a good feeling going in,” Mark said. “With a win like that you feel like you accomplished a goal that you set in the third grade.”
Not to be outdone, Brent Barber took Caije Nichols of Roane County into overtime but eventually won the 285-pound title, while earlier in the day Brent Wyne wrestled back to take fourth place.
“We had as good a tournament as we’ve had since I’ve been coach,” Delligatti said.
North Marion’s Ryan Eliott became just the third wrestler at North Marion to win back-to-back state championships Saturday night on the floor of the Big Sandy Arena when he dominated Jacob Monn of Ritchie County in a 10-1 victory.
“It’s hard to win back-to-back state championships,” North Marion coach Dave Tennant said of the victory. “The pressure was great, but he was loose and confident and wrestled his match. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Also for North, Austin Stanley placed second and freshman Kyle Elliott took home sixth in his first experience at the state tournament.
For Stanley, the second-place finish came just one year after placing third. If he keeps on pace, Tennant joked, first place is a given next season.
“Austin had a heck of a tournament,” he said. “He had some bumps along the way this year but to finish second in the state tournament is an awesome accomplishment.”
The loss for Stanley gave East Fairmont a state champion as Dalton Michael was able to beat his county foe and take home the 138-pound title.
Michael won the match over Stanley in dominant form, 11-0.
“Dalton, a sophomore, wrestled outstanding all year long,” East Fairmont coach John Geary said. “He’s got a bright future ahead of him. He said at the beginning of the year that his goal was to be the first guy from East to be a three-time state champion, and you can’t do that without the first one.”
In an unfortunate turn of events, Hayden Stewart went down with an injury in his championship match against Noah Adams of Independence and lost the match.
The injury, a dislocated middle finger and fracture, didn’t require surgery but the loss hurt just as bad.
“It’s tough for him, being a senior and having beat (Adams) twice this year,” Geary said. “But overall, we had a good tournament.”
Brody Nesslerotte also wrestled back to finish fourth for the Bees.
The five state champions ties for the most in Marion County history, according to Tennant.
Tennant’s words summed up everyone’s feelings when he said, “It was a great weekend for Marion County.”