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Young Woodrow wrestlers benefit from facing veteran teammates (With Gallery)

Register-Herald - 12/5/2023

Dec. 4—As experienced as most of Woodrow Wilson's wrestlers are, the chances of those with less mat time cracking the starting lineup isn't likely.

Still, they will get their chances, as they did at Saturday's inaugural Beckley/Husqvarna Duals.

With a new rule allowing wrestlers six matches in a day rather than the previous max of five, several lesser experienced Flying Eagles got their turns in their home gym. And they took advantage.

"Our JV guys, they caused all kinds of trouble over there," head coach Matt Osborne said. "You had Ben King, Ian Webb, Landon Osborne, J.T. Bragg and Joey Beatty. Those were our JV guys today and they wrestled like starters. They wrestled really good. Really proud of them."

Webb, a freshman 132-pounder, was 5-0 on the day. King (132), Osborne (144) and Beatty (165) were all 4-1.

The reason for their success is because of the competition they face in the mat room every day, Osborne said.

"We said that Ethan (Osborne, Matt's son and the 2023 Dutton Award winner) was a coach on the mat for us last year, but we have more," Osborne said. "Troy (Harris) is definitely a coach. Tyler (Roark) and Garrett (Johnson). Garrett's a leader. He's not vocal, but he's a leader with how he works. And J.J. (Bailes) is. He's both. He's vocal and an example leader. You see how our JV guys wrestled. They're the same weight as those guys and they're in there fighting with those guys. That's why they look so good. It makes competition inside of our mat room. Those guys get discouraged until they come to a tournament like this and they are very successful.

"They're ready. They've seen the best."

Among those is Troy Harris, who placed fourth at last season's state tournament. He went 6-0 at 144 pounds in his season debut on Saturday.

Harris is the team's only experienced senior and takes his leadership role seriously.

"There are a lot of kids on the team that need somebody like a role model to look up to, like the kids that may not win very often," he said. "They might get in their own heads and be down on themselves. After every match, if it's a close one and the kids seem upset I tend to talk to them and calm them down and work them through it."

It wasn't just a big day for Harris, as expected.

Garrett Johnson, last year's 106-pound state champion, was 6-0 at 113. J.J. Bailes went 6-0 at 138. Jacob Meadows (150), Dylan Bryant (150) and Jacob Reeves (165) were all 5-1.

Woodrow won all six of its duals to win the team championship, sealing it with a 48-34 win over Greenbrier East in the last match of the afternoon.

It was also a big day for the Spartans, who went 5-1.

Team standings

Woodrow Wilson 6-0

Greenbrier East 5-1

Fishburne Military Academy 4-2

Clay County 3-3

Liberty 2-4

Chapmanville 1-5

All-Stars 0-7

Scores

Round 1

Woodrow Wilson 48, Chapmanville 24

Clay County 51, Liberty 30

Greenbrier East 56, Fishburne 24

Round 2

Woodrow Wilson 60, Clay County 24

Greenbrier East 54, Liberty 24

Chapmanville 36, All-Stars 36 (criteria)

Round 3

Greenbrier East 48, Clay County 33

Liberty 54, All-Stars 27

Fishburne 54, Chapmanville 24

Round 4

Woodrow Wilson 60, All-Stars 18

Liberty 39, Chapmanville 27

Fishburne 48, Clay County 30

Round 5

Woodrow Wilson 33, Fishburne 31

Greenbrier East 60, All-Stars 24

Clay County 43, Chapmanville 28

Round 6

Woodrow Wilson 77, Liberty 18

Greenbrier East 66, Chapmanville 18

Fishburne 46, All-Stars 36

Round 7

Woodrow Wilson 48, Greenbrier East 34

Fishburne 48, Liberty 30

Clay County 60, All-Stars 20

Email: gfauber@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @gfauber5

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