GLEN DALE - Ripley High School’s AAA No. 4 ranked Vikings were coming off of a heartbreaking defeat to No. 1 Huntington last week and were set to travel to Glen Dale West Virginia last Saturday to get the bad taste out of their mouths and compete in the John Marshall invitational.
Ripley did more than that. They swept through the competition like a bargain hunter at a yard sale. The Vikings, in the process, shredded AA No. 1 East Fairmont 51-23.
Ripley also took down John Marshall, McGuffey (PA), Oak Glen and Calhoun County to complete a tremendous showing for the blue and white.
“The entire team looked better every time they went out. Several lost matches on small mistakes but they realize now how important the small details are,” said head coach Matt Smith, a state champion for the Vikings in 2002 at (130).
Ripley’s undefeated wrestlers at the invitational included Lucas Simpkins (126), Jake Martin (138), Preston Martin (152), Nate Starkey (170) and Daryl Hicks (285).
A heavyweight clash of the titans occurred between Ripley’s Hicks and East Fairmont’s Logan Bowman. Hicks wore down his opponent in a thrilling OT match, 2-1.
It wasn’t just seniors like Hicks doing the damage for the blue and white.
“Some of our younger guys are stepping up and getting better every time they step on the mat. That is the goal, to keep moving forward and getting better as the season progresses,” said assistant coach Franklin Howerton.
The Vikings travel to Canton Ohio for the North Canton Tournament December 14.
Results from John Marshall Invitational: Ripley 51 East Fairmont 23
106 Shane Johnson (R) won via forfeit
113 Deonta Sacks (EF) pinned Andres Danilukes 1:11 1st period
120 Antonio Jones (R) dec. Jeremy Moore 9-3
126 Lucas Simpkins (R) won via forfeit
132 Austin Hileman (R) tech fall Travis Gordon (EF) 20-4
138 Jake Martin (R) maj. Dec. Michael (EF) 9-1
145 Hayden Stewart (EF) pinned Levin Bryant (R) 1:33 1st period
152 Preston Martin (R) pinnedWilson (EF) 1:34 1st period
160 Alex Espino (R) tech fall Matt Hopwood (EF) 19-4