RAVENSWOOD – Coach Matt Bender’s Ravenswood Red Devil wrestling team is off to a good start in the early season with a 11-6 record and the recent Sissonville Duals Tournament crown under their collective belts.
At Sissonville, the Devils downed the host Indians (48-30), Poca (48-15), Mingo Central (60-0), Nitro (42-36) and South Charleston (47-12).
Leading the team are 2013 state tournament qualifier Pat Berry at 182, currently 10-3 on the season; Matt Wood at 138 (9-1); Nathan Cunningham at 170 (10-2); Kaleb Horn at 126 (9-4); an Damien Caldwell at 145 (9-7).
“We have a lot of guys contributing to our success this year like Nathan Westfall (132), who always picks up a key win for us,” said Coach Bender. “He’s quick on his feet and experienced, which allows him to score from any position on the mat.
“Damien Caldwell (145) has also been a big contributor as he leans how to control the tempo of each match, keep the score close and take advantage of every scoring opportunity.
“Kaleb Horn (126) is a tough individual, who despite making occasion errors due to inexperience, wrestles through difficult situations and continually attacks his opponents for six minutes. The kid is a fighter.
“Matt Wood (138) has turned out to be an effective leader for our team by both example and performance. He sets a good pace in the practice room as well as on the mat, and he won’t hesitate to pull a younger wrestler aside and speak from experience.
“Pat Berry (182) is also a great kid to have around because he’s coachable, athletic, physical and disciplined.
“Nathan Cunningham’s (170) athleticism and never-say-die attitude have also yielded some very positive results this year. Nathan has an unusual style that puts opponents in positions they’re not accustomed to.”
Freshman Corey Wratchford (195) had a super middle school career and is adjusting to the varsity competition level. He should be a good one for Bender’s crew.
Other Red Devils starters include Ben Barnes (113), Jamison Cooper (120), Trace Boso (152), Jordan Saunders (160), Chance Mayle (220) and Willy Parsons (280).