Keyser, Frankfort compete in PVC wrestling tournament

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Keyser's Gabe Ryan shown wrestling Saturday against Hedgesville.
Frankfort's Xander Parsons shown wrestling Saturday against Hedgesville.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

BERKELEY SPRINGS - Frankfort and Keyser opened the winter in a bit of an untraditional fashion on Friday and Saturday at Warm Springs Middle School in Berkeley Springs.  But then again, with COVID-19’s affect on sports, is anything traditional anymore?

So how was it untraditional? Well for starters, traditionally, the PVC tournament is held at the conclusion of the regular season, just before the state-qualifying regional tournament. This year, to ensure that it happened, it opened up the season.

Another thing untraditional about the tournament is that it was split into a two-day event, rather than the traditional one-day event. Essentially, the lower half of the weight classes wrestled Friday, and the upper half of the weight classes wrestled Saturday. This meant half the wrestlers, and thus half the parents, grandparents and household members in the gym at one time.

Finally, the other untraditional thing about this year’s 2021 PVC wrestling tournament is that a few bigger, non-PVC schools were added to the mix, like Hedgesville and Musselman for example. These schools wrestled in the bracketed tournament, which was also dubbed as the Max Horz Invitational, however, with respect to the actual awarding of PVC championships and placement, those awards only factored in the PVC participants.

When the dust settled, the team rankings at the conclusion of the tournament showed final PVC ream rankings of: First place-Berkeley Springs (176.5), second place-Petersburg (136.5), third place-East Hardy (114), fourth place-Hampshire (82), fifth place-Frankfort (74), sixth place-Keyser (58).

In terms of the Max Horz Invitational overall tournament rankings, the results were as follows: First place-Berkeley Springs (176.5), second place-Petersburg (136.5), third place-East Hardy (114), fourth place-Musselman (110), fifth place-Hedgesville (83), sixth place-Hampshire (82), seventh place-Frankfort (74), eighth place-Keyser (58).

Individually for Frankfort, five wrestlers competed over the two-day tournament, Iryll Jones (113), Alex Smith (120), Kris Sherman (145), Xander Parsons (195), and Nathan Armentrout.  Jones, Smith, Sherman and Parsons all placed for the Falcons.

Iryll Jones won his first match by pin and his second by a 9-4 decision to claim first place in the tournament and the PVC.  Alex Smith won his first match by pin then lost the second match by pin to claim second place in the tournament but first place in the PVC.  Kris Sherman won his first two matches by pin and his third match by a 14-2 major decision to claim first place in the tournament and first place in the PVC.

Xander Parsons won his first match by pin, lost his second match by pin, then won the third match by pin to finish in third place in the tournament. Parsons will participate in a wrestle off on March 27 to determine final placement in the PVC.  

According to Frankfort wrestling coach Jason Armentrout, “A lot of great things happened at Berkeley Springs Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  We just told the kids to just wrestle hard, keep a good base, and stay focused.  As hard as everyone has worked the last few weeks, we were confident that the guys were in six-minute shape.”

“The guys wrestled great.  They were in everyone’s grill, and they never gave up.  That’s all we can ask.  Now it’s back to work in the practice room,” Armentrout stated.

Individually for Keyser, 12 wrestlers competed over the two-day tournament, EJ Guy (120), Logan Mason (132), Landen Mason (138), Jakob Hickey (145), Seth Sions (145), Jay Kisamore (152), Logan Rotruck (160), Isaiah McRee (182), Benjamin Oates (195), Jeremiah Kisamore (220), Gabe Ryan (220), and Dakota Ratliff (285). Guy, Logan Mason, Jay Kisamore, Oates, Ryan and Ratliff all places for the Golden Tornado.

EJ Guy lost his first match by pin and won his second by a 7-2 decision to claim third place in the tournament and second place in the PVC.  Logan Mason lost by pin in the first match and by a 12-7 decision in his second match for fourth place in the tournament and third place in the PVC.  Jay Kisamore lost by pin in his first match, won by pin in his second match, and lost by pin in his third match to finish fourth in the tournament and the PVC.

Benjamin Oates lost his first match by pin, won his second match by pin, then lost his third match to finish fourth in the tournament and third in the PVC.  Gabe Ryan lost his first match by a 13-12 decision, won by pin in his second match, won by pin in his third match, and lost by pin in his fourth match to finish fourth in the tournament and third in the PVC.  

Dakota Ratliff won by pin in his first match, lost by pin in his second match, won by pin in his third match and won by injury in his fourth match to finish third in the tournament and the PVC.

According to Keyser wrestling coach Colin Rotruck, “Overall, I thought they did better than we expected.  I know we were not going to be in contention, but I felt the team and the newbies did well.  There were a couple tough learning lessons on Friday night.”

“We are looking to fix some stupid mistakes and rookie wrestling flaws and improve throughout this short season,” Rotruck explained.

Frankfort hosted a tri-match on Tuesday with Hampshire and Martinsburg. Keyser hosts a quad at Keyser on Saturday with Weir, Hedgesville and Jefferson.