NITRO, W.Va. -- George Washington received a nice boost heading into next weekend's regional wrestling tournament.
The Patriots produced five champions Saturday to capture the team title for the third year in a row at the third Kanawha County Championships at Nitro High School.
Class AAA GW scored 115 points followed by AA Herbert Hoover (99), AA Sissonville (78), AAA Nitro (59), AAA Riverside (48), AAA South Charleston (18) and AAA St. Albans (18). (See Page 2D for team scores and results.)
The Patriots' Philip Sharp won the 106-pound weight class, with teammates David Pancake (126), Jensen Lorea (132), Jake Smith (160) and Hunter Jones (170) also taking titles.
"What I got out of this was these guys are fighters,'' said GW coach Richard Harper of his squad. "My heavyweight was sick so we knew we had to move some kids around to score some points. I had another kid that was hurt, but he taped himself up and wrestled. A couple other ones that were sick wrestled.
"From 106 to 138 we moved everybody up a weight class. They ended up scoring us about another extra 10 points. For those kids to step up like that says a lot about them, their toughness and mentality. I couldn't be happier with them. It's always nice to win a tournament no matter which one it is. It's always nice for the kids' morale. That gets our young kids excited and hopefully start peaking and feeling better for next weekend.''
Hoover's Camren Duncan (113), Zane Weese (220) and Richard Woods (285) won titles.
"We got a chance to get some live action and not have four or five tough matches in one day,'' said Hoover coach Heath Perry. "That's [one of] the reasons we started [the county tournament], to give us a chance to see live action, but not really get our feet in the fire the week before the regionals.''
Other winners included Nitro's Geoffrey Bevil (120) and Ryan Walters (195), Sissonville's Jacob Fisher (138) and Nick Lane (145), South Charleston's Fred Crowser (152) and St. Albans' Akeem Brown (182).