West Virginia wrestling previews

December 01, 1999


Coach: Horace Blankenship; 20th season.

1998-99 record: 17-16-1, ninth in Herald-Mail poll

Returning starters: Frank Gregg (So., 130); Richard Stotler (Jr., 171, regional champion, state qualifier); Albert Timmons, (Jr., 275).

Key newcomers: Brandon Clark (Fr., 119); Jamie Moore (Fr., 135); Josh Clark (Fr., 160); Jeremy Goodwin (Jr., 215); Aaron Parsell (Jr., 189).

Blankenship's outlook: "We are thin in numbers and experience, but are working hard. Match time can only help us."


Coach: Bill Whittington; 17th season.

1998-99 record: 23-12, fifth in Herald-Mail poll

Returning starters: Kevin Ballam (So., 103, state qualifier); Jason Drappo (Jr., 112); Jim Shetler (Sr., 119, three-time state qualifier, career record, 180-15); Dustin Bowers (Sr., 125, state qualifier); Shaun Schell (Jr., 130, started last third of last season); Jared Hess (Jr., 135, injured last year, won 21 matches as a freshman); Anthony Regalbuto (Sr., 140, 1999 West Virginia Class AAA state champion at 125, 1999 National High School Open Champion, High School All-American, career record 107-7); Bryan Moats (Jr., 145, 1999 West Virginia Class AAA state runner-up at 135, 1999 National High School Open Champion, High School All-American, career record, 74-9); Justin Snyder (So., 152, state qualifier); John Dunham (Jr., 160, didn't wrestle last season); Chuck Files (So., 160); Andrew Everhart (Jr., 171); Jason Baker (Jr., 189) ; Phil Files (So., 215).


Key newcomers: Daniel Lord (Fr., 130); Josh Barrett (Jr., 215); Matt Schoppert (Sr., 215, first-year wrestler); Josh Jones (Fr., 275).

Whittington's outlook: "We have 11 of 13 starters back who wrestled in last year's regional tournament, plus three early season starters who were injured or did not finish. With the James Wood Quad on Dec. 4, and the Berkeley Springs Tournament Dec. 17-18, we will find out early whether we are a real good dual team, a real good tournament ream or both. This could possibly be our best year ever. I would like to think this team is good enough that an idiot could coach them into the state tournament (but one already is)."


Coach: Gary Wratchford; 27th season; 1996 Herald-Mail Coach of the Year.

1998-99 record: 23-17, seventh in Herald-Mail poll.

Returning starters: Ryan Peckham (Sr., 119); Devin Abshire (Jr., 130, state qualifier); Brandon Rodkey (Jr., 140); Archie McDonald (Jr., 145, state qualifier); Rob Osuch (Jr., 152); Scott Mercer (Sr., 160, injured last season); Jacob Morton (Sr., 171); Jeff Wratchford (Sr., 189); Drew Day (Jr., 215, state qualifier).

Key newcomers: Ryan Smith (So., 103); Chantz Griffith (So., 112); Brad Davis (Jr., 125); Kody Davis (Sr., 135, first-year wrestler); Warren Stewart (Jr., 140); Justin McDaniel (Jr., 189); Jeremy McDaniel (Sr., 215); Dustin Householder (So., 275); Jason Braeden (Jr., 275).

Wratchford's Outook: "Although we have the fewest number of wrestlers to start in all my years, I like the quality of the kids we have. We could develop into a good team."


Coach: Steve Britner; 10th season; 1999 Herald-Mail Coach of the Year

1998-99 record: 32-5-1, third in Herald-Mail poll.

Returning starters: Brandon Kolb (So., 103); David Clopton (Sr., 112); Bill Barbour (So., 125); Justin Kessler (So., 135, state qualifier); Sean Agoney (Jr., 140, state qualifier); Travis Durst (Jr., 152); Brad Davis (Sr., 160, three-time state qualifier); Joe Jackson (Jr., 171, two-time state qualifier).

Key newcomers: Blaine Durst (Fr., 119); Casey Hypes (Fr., 145); Na'eem Page (Sr., 189); Aaron Warner (So., 215, first-year wrestler); Ryan Bird (Fr., 275, first-year wrestler); Curtis Greer; Ty Page.

Britner's outlook: "We hope to improve weekly, incur no injuries, and finish strong for regionals."


Coach: Mark Cagle; 4th season

Returning starters: Chris Linder (So., 119); Jonathan Miller (So., 125); Kevin Dunnigan (Jr., 125); Derek Miller (So., 135); Victor Beard (Jr., 140, state qualifier); Wes Kees (So., 145); Mike Triggs (Jr., 152); Mike Renner (Jr., 215).

Key newcomers: Travis Hall (Fr., 103, first-year wrestler); Jimmy Weatherholtz (Fr., 103); Mike Hedrick (So., 112, first-year wrestler); Hanna Shippman (Sr., 112, first-year wrestler); Justin Jones (Fr., 119); Cheyenne Baker (Sr., 160, first-year wrestler); Phillip Nowak (Jr., 160); Raymond Watkins (So., 160, first-year wrestler); Jason Bozzi (Jr., 171, first-year wrestler); Andrew Spinks (So., 171, first-year wrestler); Rocky Virgillo (So., 189, first-year wrestler); Brad Wright (So., 189, first-year wrestler); Joey Bott (Fr., 275, first-year wrestler); Willie Kern (Fr., 275, first-year wrestler).

Cagle's outlook: "Although gaining a year of experience, the team is mostly made up of beginning wrestlers. Many of the wrestlers who have some experience have moved up in weight. We look to develop our skills and advance some individuals, but are focusing on improvement with experience as the barometer of our growth. Look for good things from Beard, Kees, Linder, (Jonathan) Miller and Renner."

- Compiled by Tom Janus and Marilyn Janus / Staff Correspondents

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