QUINCY, W.Va. -- Fred Crozier just made his first big move of the season. Now he hopes it pays off with another big move.
Crozier, a sophomore on South Charleston's four-man wrestling team, moved up to the 160-pound weight class for Saturday's Kanawha County Championship meet at Riverside after spending much of the season competing at 152 pounds and earning a state ranking.
The first step was a good one, as Crozier earned an individual weight-class championship in his final regular-season meet. Teams begin the postseason trail next weekend at regional meets around the state.
George Washington was the overall team champion in the county meet, with the host Warriors second and Herbert Hoover third. GW (seventh, Class AAA) and Hoover (10th, AA-A) are Kanawha County's two state-ranked squads.
"This is my first week back at 160 pounds,'' Crozier said during a break in Saturday's event. "I started the season out at 160 for a week or two, then I went down to . Guys at 160 are more strength-wise, more stocky, and a little slower than at 152.''
Crozier, who went 5-1 in his early stint at 160, improved his overall season record to 25-5.
Coming into the Saturday's county meet, Crozier was ranked No. 10 in Class AAA at 152 by the West Virginia Wrestling Coaches Association, making him one of 25 state-ranked participants in the field.
Interestingly, even though he now competes in a different weight class against different rivals, Crozier's focus hasn't shifted from the same Jackson County family,
When he wrestled at 152, he was bumping heads with Ripley junior Jake Martin, a defending state champion at 138 who tied for the AAA state meet outstanding wrestler award last year. Martin is ranked No. 3 this season at 152.
Now, Crozier hopes to lock up with his older brother, senior Preston Martin of Ripley, who's ranked No. 2 at 160. SC and Ripley both compete in the Region 3 meet next Saturday at Ripley.
"I'm trying to get to the championship [match] of the regionals and go against Preston Martin,'' Crozier said. "I wrestled his brother, and he beat me.''
Crozier said he doesn't really "worry about the rankings. I just try to perform.''
However, the move to 160 may be a more natural weight for Crozier, a football standout at SC who had to lose 10 pounds between sports seasons to get back to the weight he wrestled at last winter. He was the Black Eagles' second-leading receiver last fall with 38 catches for 444 yards and six touchdowns.