Ripley High Vikings will have seven at state wrestling tournament

Mark Martin
Special to the Jackson Star News
These seven wrestlers will represent Ripley in Class AAA at next week's 74th West Virginia High School State Wrestling Tournament in Huntington. Pictured, left to right, are: Front row, Dakota Parsons, Isaac Parsons and Matt Moore; back row, Nate Cox, Brett Haskins, Luke Miller and Hunter Brown.

When the Class AAA phase of the 74th annual West Virginia High School State Wrestling Tournament gets going on Monday (April 19) the Ripley Viking program will be well-represented.

Matt Smith saw seven of his Vikings qualify for the state tournament last Saturday at the Region IV event in Parkersburg.

Ripley had one champion, three place second and three others finish fourth (the top four in each weight class qualify).

In the seven-team field, the Vikings finished third with 138 points. Parkersburg South, a program that has won six straight AAA state championships, took the regional crown with 295 points. Huntington was second with 181.

Senior Nate Cox brought home a title by winning the 113-pound class. Cox downed Parkersburg South’s Brent Bosley in an exciting overtime championship match, 6-4.

Cox reached the final thanks to a bye in the first round and a close, 7-6, decision over Parkersburg High’s Brent Cantwell.

Brett Haskins, who wrestled for a state championship a year ago, finished second to South’s Nathan Ford, falling by a 6-0 decision.

Haskins pinned Theron Chapman in the opening round and then slipped past Cabell Midland’s Jackson Stewart, 1-0, to enter the championship match.

At 132, Luke Miller was second. Miller pinned Phenix Spriggs of Parkersburg High in his opening match and then registered a 4-0 decision over Nicholas Cruickshank of Hurricane to earn a spot in the title match.

In the championship, Miller lost to South’s Trent Jones by a 9-3 decision.

Hunter Brown at 152 qualified for the State Tournament with a second place finish. Brown was pinned by South’s Robert Shockey in the his title match.

Brown made it to the end by pinning Benjy Chute of Spring Valley and recording a 7-4 decision over Cabell Midland’s Connor Wiseman.

Also earning trips to the state tournament by placing fourth were Isaac Parsons (160), Matt Moore (195) and Dakota Parsons (220).

Finishing fifth for Ripley were Evan Shouldis (138), Eli Koontz (145) and Andrew Manley (285).

Kain Price (106) was sixth.