RIPLEY - Ripley High head wrestling coach Matt Smith knows how to throw a party. Once again, coach Smith, along with the parents, assistant coaches, family members and wrestlers made their annual banquet a tremendous success and one that is always enjoyable to attend.

After a wonderful meal provided by the parents, coach Smith displayed a hybrid highlight video and pictorial tribute to the 2012-'13 Ripley High wrestling program. Smith's ability to fuse humorous captions into his near thirty-minute montage was very entertaining for all in attendance.

Coach Smith introduced each wrestler and reflected on their career and season. He discussed the future of the program and the high expectations that the team has set for their future.

The Vikings finished No. 4 overall in AAA last season and crowned senior Daryl Hicks and sophomore Jake Martin (two-time) as champions at the West Virginia State Wrestling Tournament in Huntington.

The team honored former blue and white head wrestling coach Steve Sayre who unfortunately was unable to attend. Coach Smith carried on with his plans to discuss the contributions Sayre made to the Viking Wrestling program that has contributed to the team's success and gradual rise through the years.

Coach Smith plans to officially honor Sayre, who coached him as a prep grappler at Ripley at the Vikings' first home match next season.

Pictorial tributes to Viking wrestling greats were on hand which added a visual aspect to the events that took place in the Ripley High School cafeteria on Thursday evening.

Team Awards: Newcomer of the year - Lucas Simpkins, Most Improved - Nate Starkey, Hardest Worker - Greg Medina, Most Outstanding Wrestler - Jake Martin.
At least three Ripley Wrestlers are expected to sign collegiate letters of intent in the coming weeks. JN will bring you all the details.