Bearcat Wrestlers begin season


GRAFTON—Wrestling season is well underway in Taylor County, and the Grafton Bearcats wresting team has been busy of late, competing in five meets in the last three weeks and hosting a large dual this past weekend at GHS.

Head Coach Keith Zebley has eleven wrestlers on his squad this season, with his roster comprised of seniors Garrett Williams and Dillion Williams, juniors Donovan Ware, Noah Allman and Shawn Kelley, sophomores Elia Shumaker, Hunter Stanley, Dallas Kellar and Xander Larew and freshmen David Conrad, Jeremiah Mitchell and Seth Horne.

The regular season began on December 7 with the Philip Barbour duals at PBHS, a meet in which Grafton won handily. Dillion Williams (152) went 5-0 on the day, while Noah Allman (120) won all three of his matches. Jeremiah Mitchell (160) went 4-1, and Garrett Williams (285) won both of his matches by pin.

Two days later, the Bearcats would host a home meet against Preston and Lewis Counties, before heading back to Philip Barbour on December 17, for another dual. Grafton would win that meet against the Colts by the score of 48-36 and hit the road for two quad meets, first at Fairmont Senior on December 19 (versus Doddridge County, Fairmont Senior and South Harrison), and then at North Marion on December 20 (versus North Marion and Weir).

Fast forward to this past Saturday and the Bearcats would host a dual meet at GHS in which they faced off against Hedgesville, Bridgeport, Elkins, Philip Barbour and North Marion.

The Bearcats would fare well in those matches and continue their alpha testing this week, which is a test to determine the weight that each wrestler can safely cut and maintain.

Although they were able to wrestle a few matches in various weight classes up until now, this week, a couple more wrestlers should be able to find their competitive, yet healthy, weight and secure their spot on the roster.

According to the WVSSAC, “The primary purpose for this program is to ensure the future and safety of scholastic wrestling programs in West Virginia. The program is designed to assist in avoiding harmful weight reduction practices. Each wrestler will be screened be an assessor for hydration level of the body and body fat.”

Season record for the Bearcats include Noah Allman (14-2), Seth Horne (7-7), Shawn Kelley (1-1), Eli Shumaker (7-6), Dillon Williams (17-1), Jeremiah Mitchell (15-3), Xander Larew (0-1), Hunter Stanley (7-7), Donovan Ware (8-7), Garrett Williams (11-2) and Dallas Keener (0-2).

The Bearcats will be back in action this weekend as they head to Cameron on Saturday for a bracketed tournament at Cameron High School. That meet is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.

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