Brooke’s Camilletti wins in Class AAA on opening day

HUNTINGTON — Nineteen Class AAA Ohio Valley wrestlers advanced after the first night of the 72nd-annual West Virginia State tournament Thursday inside Big Sandy Super Store Arena.

Wheeling Park had 11 of 13 individuals prevail while John Marshall saw seven of 10 come out on top.

Brooke had one winner, with Max Camilletti (160 pounds) posting a pin.

Of the 19, none were more impressive than the Monarchs’ Ethan Gray. Already a two-time state placer, the junior stunned St. Albans’ defending state champion Thomas Hartley when he recorded a second period pin in their 120-pound bout.

Gray trailed 7-1 before slicing the deficit to 7-5 early in the second period. He then caught Hartley on his back for the fall in 2:49.

“I knew if I was going to place higher than I have my first two years, I was going to have to continue wrestling hard,” Gray said about his comeback. “In the first period, I was shooting from too far away and he was able to get a couple of cradles locked up.

“When I got away and back on my feet, I was able to read that he was stepping left and I took advantage of it.

“I’m not even sure what happened there at the end. I know I had him on his back and he stayed there.”

Veteran John Marshall coach Ted Zervos was extremely happy for Gray.

“You wrestle six minutes for a reason,” Zervos said. “He was down 7-1, but he never gave up and continued to fight. He kept going and going and eventually, found a way to chip back and pin him.”

Another wrestler who stood out in his coaches eyes was Wheeling Park’s Hunter Nixon (160 pounds), who pinned George Washington’s Hayden Stone in 5:01.

Nixon was a fourth-place regional finisher, who knocked off Stone was a regional champion.

“I was surprised with the way Hunter wrestled (Thursday),” Wheeling Park Brian Leggett said. “We’ve been working on a lot of stuff with him in practice. He wrestled really well.”

Also winning by pins for the Patriots were freshmen Nate Schelek (113), sophomores Stevie Mitchell (138 pounds) and senior Dylan Wood (220 pounds).

Schelek, who was ranked No. 1, needed just 1:41, while Mitchell and Wood made quick work of their opponents in 48 and 23 ticks, respectively.

Scoring technical falls were junior Andrew Schelek (145 pounds), sophomore Billy Gooch (152 pounds) and senior Jermain Snodgrass (195 pounds).

Earning major decisions were Maison Richardson (120 pounds) and Jeremiah Timberlake (170 pounds) while Cody Taggart (106 pounds) and Canon Welker (132 pounds) won by decision.

“I was very happy with our performance,” Leggett said. “The kids wrestled really hard and we picked up a lot of bonus points.”

Other winners for John Marshall were freshman Gabe Cochran (106 pounds), junior Dakoyta Thatcher (138 pounds), seniors Jacob Berisford (170 pounds) and Anthony Carman (182 pounds), junior Bradley Clark (220 pounds) and senior Brady Williams (285 pounds).

Cochran (0:23) and Clark (0:33) secured first period pins while Berisford and Carman also had falls. Thatcher and Williams won by decisions.

“I was expecting to get eight through, maybe nine, but we lost a couple of tough matches at 113 and 132,” Zervos said.