BUCKHANNON - Buckhannon-Upshur hopes to make a dent in the Marion County domination Friday and Saturday at the annual Big 10 Conference wrestling tournament being held at Bridgeport High School.
With new alignments for classes in 2012-13, the Big 10 has a new look with only three Class AAA schools (Buckhannon-Upshur, Elkins and Lewis County), and nine Class AA schools - Grafton and Philip Barbour, Harrison County schools Bridgeport, Liberty, Lincoln and Robert C. Byrd, and the Marion County schools East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior, and North Marion.
Last year, the Big 10 tourney was a Marion County sweep as North Marion (225), Fairmont Senior (186) and East Fairmont (174) delivered a 1-2-3 finish at the end.
The Inter-Mountain file photo
Wrestlers from Elkins and Lewis County will compete in the Big 10 Conference tournament that begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Bridgeport High School.
Lewis County was fourth with 119, Buckhannon-Upshur fifth with 108 and Elkins 12th with 24.
Despite the Marion County dominance, the tournament provided arguably the most parity of any conference tourney in the state. Eight of the 12 schools had an individual champion, with an amazing six different schools snagging two individual titles.
North Marion proved to be the champion with a great team performance, winning a chunk of the consolation bouts and taking home a large amount of third and fourth-place finishes.
This year, B-U appears primed to make a run at breaking up the top three. The Bucs are one of two schools receiving votes just outside the top 10 in the latest wvmat.com rankings. In Class AA, East Fairmont is the state's top ranked team, with Fairmont Senior currently fifth, and North Marion seventh.
"We are looking forward to competing in our conference tournament this weekend," B-U coach J.P. Tenney said. "Once again, the Marion County schools are tough, and the other schools have some outstanding individuals we will have to battle with."
Individually, the tournament sports over two dozen wrestlers who are ranked in the latest wvmat.com individual rankings. From the Class AAA schools, B-U has four wrestlers state ranked - Seth Cutright at 152 (second), Dakota Linger at 126 (third), Daniel Nolte at 220 (fifth) and Brandon Tenney at 106 (seventh). Lewis County has Ryan Carson at 182 (sixth) and Kyle Rogers at 170 (eighth).
Top-ranked East Fairmont leads the Marion County brigade, as the three high schools currently have a total of 20 state-ranked wrestlers - eight at EF, and six each at Fairmont Senior and North Marion. On top of this, the county has four of the state's No. 1-ranked wrestlers. East Fairmont's Garrett Onderko (182) and Jesse Roman (195), and Fairmont Senior's Anthony Alvaro (145) and Vince Delligotti (220).
Weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. on Friday, with the matches begining at 6 p.m.