Times West Virginian
After two full days of wrestling from the Big Sandy Arena in Huntington, seven wrestlers from Marion County are just one win away from a state championship.
Fairmont Senior has three wrestlers with their eyes on titles as Anthony Alvaro, Vincent Delligatti and Brent Barber each won their matches on Friday.
Barber’s match, the last one of the night for the Polar Bears, was filled with excitement.
Down, 2-1, Barber managed to get a takedown in the match’s final seconds to secure the win over an opponent he’d lost to earlier in the season and advance.
“That’s one of our goals. If you lost to someone earlier in the year, when you get that second chance, you go after it,” Fairmont Senior coach Mark Delligatti said of the match.
Delligatti said he’s excited for the three advancing to the championship match but also for Brent Wyne, who wrestled back and won all three of his matches to earn a spot in the consolation bracket and a chance to place as high as third in the 138-pound weight class.
“This is probably the best Friday night we’ve had at the state tournament since 1996,” he said.
For North Marion, two wrestlers will advance as Ryan Elliott and Austin Stanley will battle for titles tonight.
North coach Dave Tennant expected Elliott and Stanley to do well, but the surprise of the weekend has been in Ryan’s younger brother, Kyle.
“He always surprises us,” Tennant said of Kyle, who just fell short in the semi-finals Friday night to a defending state champion. “It’s not much of a surprise any more when you look at the tenacity he has. He just keeps coming. He doesn’t stop wrestling.”
Kyle will square off against Brody Nesslerotte from East Fairmont with the winner advancing to the third/fourth place match.
As for others from East Fairmont, Dalton Michael and Hayden Stewart will represent the Bees in the finals.
East Fairmont coach John Geary said Michael’s match was a big one for the 138-pounder.
“Dalton’s match was huge,” Geary said. “He beat last year’s runner up that he lost to earlier in the season.”
Stewart followed suit, also beating a runner-up from last season, dominating him in 10-1 victory to advance.
After the two days, all three teams are eyeing top-five finishes.
Matches to decide who will wrestle for third and fourth place and fifth and sixth place will begin today at 10:45 a.m. The championship matches will begin at 6 p.m. when the Big Sandy Arena will turn the lights on just two mats on an elevated surface to showcase the state’s best grapplers.