High School Wrestling Vikings to open season March 3

Mark Martin

Typically, high school wrestling in West Virginia comes to a close at the end of February or early March.

This season, March will be the month in which action begins on the mats.

Due to COVID-19, high school winter sports (swimming, wrestling and basketball) were hit with not one, but two delays.

The Ripley Vikings, who were 15th at last year's Class AAA State Tournament, will begin the 2021 season at home on March 3 with matches against George Washington and Herbert Hoover. GW was 10th at the Class AAA State Tournament last year while Hoover placed ninth in Class AA-A.

On Saturday, March 6, Ripley will take on Cabell Midland in a home dual. The Knights were 12th last season in Class AAA.

March 9 Ripley will journey to Parkersburg South High School. In addition to the defending Class AAA state champs, the Vikings will also go again Fairmont Senior and John Marshall. Fairmont Senior was third in Class AA-A last season while John Marshall was 17th in Class AAA.

March 13 will have the Vikings in a second straight quad against Oak Glen, East Fairmont and North Marion. Oak Glen, which will be the host, was fourth in AA-A last year while East Fairmont was seventh and North Marion finished eighth.

Ripley will head to Point Pleasant March 16 for a tri with the defending AA-A state champion Big Blacks and Wheeling Park, the Class AAA runner-up in 2020.

The Vikings will host a tri on March 20 with Sissonville and Spring Valley. Sissonville was 13th in Class AA-A last season while Spring Valley placed 24th in AAA.

Ripley will go up against St. Albans, who placed 11th in Class AAA last year, in a home dual March 24.

It will be a trip to 2020 Class AA-A state champion Greenbrier West for a quad on March 27. Joining the Vikings and Cavaliers will be Beckley Woodrow Wilson, the 13th place AAA team in 2020, and Grafton, who placed 19th in AA-A.

A quad at Parkersburg High March 30 closes out the regular season. The Big Reds, who were third in AAA last season, will also be hosting GW and Hurricane, which placed 21st a year ago in AAA.

Ripley will return to Parkersburg to compete in the Class AAA Region IV Tournament on April 10.

Qualifiers will move on to take part in the State Tournament. The event will again be in Huntington and this year is two days for Class AAA on April 23 and 24 (Class AA is April 21 and 22).