"We've got a good kid there,'' Harper said, "but so do a lot of other teams. We can see where we're at and get ready for the regionals.
"The MSAC's a tough tournament. It's stiff competition - one of the toughest conferences out there. Hopefully all the teams will show up and bring everybody. At this point in time, a lot of kids can get hurt or sick. Sometimes you don't get to see everybody you'd like to because of that reason.''
Half of the state's top-ranked wrestlers in the AAA weight classes are scheduled to compete - Huntington's Logan Grass (106), Jordan Allen (113) and Justin Arthur (145), GW's Jake Smith (160), Midland's Nick Boone (170), Parkersburg's Jared Haught (182) and Ripley's Daryl Hicks (heavyweight).
Harper looks forward to wrestling against some teams the Patriots haven't seen much of this season, like Ripley and Woodrow Wilson - teams that are now in Region 3 with GW following some realignment within the state's four regions.
"We'll see how we line up with those guys,'' Harper said. "People are starting to find out that since the realignment, all four regions now have balanced themselves out pretty good. Shady Spring and Ripley are in Region 3 with us, and GW and Woodrow have been right on the outskirts of the top 10.''
GW, which has placed fourth in the last two MSAC meets, was idle last weekend, missing out on the chance to compete in the West Virginia Duals in Parkersburg because classes at Kanawha County schools were let out early last Friday because of snow.
"We had to make a positive out of a negative,'' Harper said. "We got a break and we got some rest. Maybe we'll be little hungrier because we didn't wrestle.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.