Despite the fact that the weather has a way of wreaking havoc this time of year, Mineral County's wrestlers from Keyser and Frankfort have been busy on the mats. In fact, in one case, they were busy mixing it up with one another.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
Despite the fact that the weather has a way of wreaking havoc this time of year, Mineral County’s wrestlers from Keyser and Frankfort have been busy on the mats. In fact, in one case, they were busy mixing it up with one another.   
There have been some successes on both sides, and some places where the coaches see room for improvement. But improvement, at this point in the season, remains the name of the game. As both coach Colin Rotruck from Keyser and coach Jason Armentrout from Frankfort have said, you want to be doing your best wrestling and be at peak performance at the end of the season.
Beginning with last Saturday, Jan. 11, there was action for both teams as Frankfort traveled to East Hardy and Keyser traveled to the Winner’s Choice Tournament in Fairmont.
Frankfort lost to East Hardy on what was senior day for the Cougars. Keyser finished 14th in the Winner’s Choice Tournament in a field of 30 teams with a score of 72.50. Those 30 teams were composed of teams, big and small, from three states (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia).  
For Keyser, four wrestlers placed inside the top eight at the Winner’s Choice Tournament.  Tristin Fox finished third in the 182 pound weight class, Jimmy Ratliff finished fifth at 285, and Tyler Mason and Adam Kephart finished eighth at 152 and 195 respectively.
Then came Tuesday, Jan. 11, when Frankfort and Keyser, joined by Allegany, mixed it up with a tri-meet at Frankfort.  Keyser won the day, defeating both Frankfort and Allegany to finish 2-0. Frankfort lost to Keyser and defeated Allegany to split the day at 1-1. Allegany went 0-2.
According to Frankfort coach Jason Armentrout, “I thought we wrestled well.  The kids were really stoked to be wrestling at home. I was really proud of how they wrestled.”
In the head-to-head matchup between Keyser and Frankfort, the Golden Tornado defeated the Falcons 48-30. Scoring wins for Keyser were Sylas Watts and Alex Oates by pin, E.J. Guy and Jordan Stewart by decision, and Landen Mason, Stone Kesner, Jacob Hickey, Julian McCoy and Cash Davey by forfeit.  Earning wins for Frankfort were Kris Sherman, Connor Parish, Noah Kiszka, Jacob Logsdon and Xander Parsons, all by pin.  Keyser defeated Allegany 72-5
Frankfort defeated Allegany 42-12 in the head to head matchup.  Scoring wins for Frankfort by pin were Connor Parish, Jacob Logsdon and Hunter Carter.  Scoring wins by forfeit for the Falcons were Iryll Jones, Kris Sherman, Noah Kiszka, John Bittinger and Xander Parsons. Tenney won by pin for Allegany while Weaver won by forfeit.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, Keyser hosted grapplers from Fort Hill and Southern High School. As they’ve done all year, the Southern Rams have continued to dominate on the mat. Southern defeated Fort Hill 81-0 and Keyser 59-9 to improve at that point to 30-0 on the season. Southern is the defending Maryland 1A State Champion.  Keyser defeated Fort Hill 63-16 to go 1-1 on the day.  Fort Hill finished 0-2.
According to Keyser coach Colin Rotruck, the Southern score looks more lopsided than the reality of the match. “We had at least four matches that were tight and could have went either way,” he said. “Unfortunately, they went the way of Southern and not us.  That’s not taking anything away from Southern, they are the defending state champs and the favorite to win it again in my eyes.  I have the utmost respect for their team and coaches.”
Moving forward, there is still plenty of wrestling left for the season for both Keyser and Frankfort.  
Keyser is next scheduled to take to the road today, weather permitting, for the Loudon Valley Tournament in Virginia.  Next for the Golden Tornado will be the Viking Smash at Petersburg on Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26.  
Frankfort was supposed to host a make-up match for today with Southern and Northern but that match has now been moved to Monday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. at Frankfort.  The Falcons will then travel to Fort Hill on Wednesday, Jan. 23, before also participating in the Viking Smash at Petersburg on Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26.
Add a local wrestling match or two to your things to do list; you won’t be disappointed.