Matt Moore seeking more on the mats in ‘21

Mark Martin

In 1976, the Andrea True Connection singing group belted out the hit song, “More, More, More.” It reached No. 4 on the Billboard list.

“More, More, More,” is what Ripley senior wrestler Matt Moore is gunning for in his final season on the mats.

A season that is just now about to get started with workouts.

Due to COVID-19, all winter sports competitions (swimming, wrestling and basketball) in West Virginia were hit with a sizeable delay.

Wrestling, in normal times, would be in its final month of action heading toward the season-ending State Tournament.

“Right now, I’d be in the best shape of my life,” said Moore, a talented wrestler, football player and student at Ripley High. “It’s weird to just be getting started at this time of year.”

But with everything that has gone on in the United States, including sports, since last March, Moore is happy to be getting started on a sport he loves regardless of what the calendar says.

Moore, who will wrestle in the heavyweight class for Matt Smith’s Vikings, has been doing his best to be in shape when the Vikings finally get into workouts (which are slated to begin next week).

“I’ve been going to the gym and trying to keep my cardio and overall strength up,” he said. “Once we get into workouts with Coach (Matt) Smith we will be in top-notch shape.”

Smith is a former state champion at Ripley High.

A year ago, Moore captured the regional championship in the highly-competitive Class AAA Region IV event to qualify for the State Tournament in Huntington.

His quest for success among the best of the best got off to a great start with a pin over Ashton Stokes of St. Albans. Moore then lost a tough decision to Hampshire senior Benjamin Lambert sending him into the consolation bracket.

Moore picked up another pin against Dyllan Haseleau of Morgantown before his dream of placing came to an end with a loss by pin to Zane Milburn of Spring Mills.

“Last year was really disappointing. I was one match from placing,” Moore said with frustration in his voice.

He finished with an overall season record of 12-7.

His goal for this season is a rather simple one, but not at all surprising for an individual like Moore who strives to be the best and do well in everything he attacks.

A state championship is the mission.In order to accomplish this huge goal, Moore must deal with wrestlers this season who will be bigger in size.

“For a heavyweight, I’m a smaller guy,” said Moore.

The maximum weight a wrestler can be in the heavyweight class is 285. Moore, at the moment, tips the scales at 225.

“I hope to be around 235 by the time we get going,” he said.

It is a different kind of statement from a wrestler. As most are usually trying to drop weight to compete in a certain class.

“I’m worried about gaining some weight which will help me get leverage on those (bigger) guys,” Moore said laughing.

“I just hope to bulk up in the coming weeks and months.”

The State Tournament, which is usually staged the final weekend (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) of February, though, this year it was originally scheduled to be March 4-6, won’t be taking place until April and will be broken up into four days due to COVID-19. The Class AA-A portion will all 

take place April 21 and 22 (Wednesday and Thursday) while Class AAA unfolds April 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday).

Moore feels one advantage he has as an undersized heavyweight wrestler is the ability to move.

“I’m quick on my feet,” said Moore, who was an outstanding offensive and defensive lineman in football for the Viking program the past four years.

He earned Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention following the 2020 season.

Playing a sport, likely football, is another goal Moore has for the future.

One school that has shown significant interest is the University of Charleston.

While he is still unsure as to where he might wind up, Moore does have a plan in place as to what he would like to one day be – a physician’s assistant.

His major could range from biology to chemistry to nursing.

Moore currently owns a GPA of 4.1.

A rock-solid student and athlete, Moore also displays an outstanding personality. He is well-spoken beyond his years.

And as his last season of another high school sport is dawning, he is ready to give it everything he has to be successful.

Matt Moore, you see, is seeking “More, More, More,”  on the mats in 2021.