RIPLEY - The No.4 ranked Ripley wrestling squad hosted the top ranked Huntington Highlanders on Thursday and while the boys in blue fought hard, the Highlanders were able to wrap up the victory after a quick start, 37-25.

"I think that this can be a good learning tool. We didn't wrestle our best but you have to give credit to Huntington. How we respond will tell a lot about our team," said Viking coach Matt Smith.

It was a homecoming of sorts and Jarrod Simpkins returned to the Ripley Health Center after transferring to Huntington before the school year. Simpkins pinned Antonio Jones (120) in early action.

Jarrod's brother Lucas remains a Viking and the freshman didn't disappoint in what the most exciting match of the night. Simpkins (Lucas) took a 7-6 decision over Huntington's Chase Childers.

Ripley seniors Daryl Hicks (285), Nate Starkey and Greg Medina 195) contin( (70) ued to shine for the Vikings with Starkey and Medina notching mat slappers.

Returning state champion Jake Martin (138) took a 13-3 decision over Jonathan Spencer.

"We have some guys who have been wrestling for years and a few who are competing for only the third time in their lives. We will continue to grow and get better," said assistant coach Franklin Howerton. On Saturday Ripley traveled to the John Marshall Invitational and defeated Oak GlenCalhoun County, East Fairmont (AA No. 1), John Marshall and McGuffie (PA). See a full story and results in Thursday's Star Edition of Jackson Newspapers.

Results from Ripley versus Huntington: 106: Logan Grass HH pinned Shane Johnson Rip 113: Jordan Allen HH pined Adrejs Danilukes Rip, 120: Jarred Simpkins HH pinned Antonio Jones Rip, 126: Lucas Simpkins Rip dec Chase Childers HH 7-6, 132: Austin Hileman Rip dec Cody Shepherd HH 15-9, 138: Jake Martin Rip majdec Jonathan Spencer HH 13-3, 145: Wade Mcgrew HH dec Levi Bryant Rip 11-9 152: Justin Arthur HH dec Preston Martin Rip 7-0, 160: Paden Christian HH techfall Alex Espino Rip , 170: Nate Starkey Rip pinned Austin Budd HH, 182: Carter Capehart HH pinned Martin Kuhl Rip, 195: Greg Medina Rip pinned Jacob Blackburn HH220: Arison Pierce HH dec Garrett Phillips Rip 5-3, 285: Daryl Hicks Rip dec Toney Kitts.