SHINNSTON – As grappler Mikey Jones took the mat on Saturday for the Big 10 Conference Champ…
SHINNSTON – The finish of the 152-pound weight class final at Saturday’s Big 10 Conference Championships would have been the perfect ending to East Fairmont High senior Dom Postlewait’s prep wrestling career — the only issue is that he has plans for a couple more accomplishments before he’s finished.
“The hard work is paying off, but I’m not done yet. Now it’s time to go get a regional title and then hopefully a state title,” he said.
Postlewait had just fought to a hard-earned 4-2 decision over Liberty’s Bryce Stearns, capturing one of the more significant victories in his high school career with his first individual Big 10 crown. Before Saturday, the highest he had ever placed at the tournament was fifth.
“He just keeps getting better and better each match — he’s a very coachable kid and I’m proud of him. Being a senior and going out with a conference championship, that’s just awesome,” said East Fairmont head coach Adam Boyers.
Postlewait’s victory capped a trio of individual Big 10 titles for East Fairmont wrestlers on Saturday, with senior Geno Casuccio capturing his second-consecutive Big 10 title in the 106-pound weight class and freshman Levi Carpenter earning the 113-pound weight class title in his first-ever championship appearance.
As a team, the Bees would have 11 place winners and would take second-place overall with 156 team points, edging third-place Buckhannon-Upshur by 16 points.
“We had a good week at practice, we really pushed each other, and everyone came to wrestle today. I’m really proud of the guys — nobody can do the things we do, if you come to our practices we really push each other, and to see the guys come out and get second-place is awesome,” Postlewait said.
“We feel good about it, and we’re continuing to make progress, which is what you like to see at this time of the year. We have some things we still have to work on, but I’m proud of this team to take second-place overall, especially with such a young team,” Boyers said.
North Marion High would also turn in a strong performance at the tournament, paced by junior Garrett Conaway who captured his first-ever individual Big 10 championship by way of a pinfall over Preston County’s Jacob Gregg.
“It feels pretty good. Freshman year, I was runner-up and sophomore year I was the third-place finisher. Coming out here and getting the win for my team, not necessarily me, but the team and the people who come cheer our wrestling program on, it’s just great,” Conaway said.
Following another huge win two weeks ago at the prestigious WSAZ Invitational in Huntington — a multi-state, multi-classification tournament with 64-man brackets — Saturday’s win further solidifies Conaway’s place as a force in Class AA wrestling statewide and a serious contender as the state tournament approaches.
“Really, nothing’s really clicking that wasn’t before, it’s just the way I’m performing. I’m executing a little better and doing what we’re practicing in the room. Right now I’m a lot stronger — me and my dad go down to work out at Hess’s gym and that’s helped build up my strength and push through these tough matches where other kids are strong,” he said.
As a team, North Marion finished the conference tournament with six place winners and finished fifth overall out of 13 teams.
“I thought we wrestled really well all through the team. Our finals matches were all really tough, and to come out here and put up the numbers they did, I’m really proud of them,” North Marion coach Brooks Russell said.