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Cabell Midland hosts No. 1 HHS

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

ONA -- Cabell Midland's new wrestling coach had heard about the annual dual match against Cabell County rival Huntington High.

Now, Ian Semelroth gets to experience it when the Highlanders visit his Knights at 6 p.m., Wednesday.

Huntington High comes in ranked No. 1 in Class AAA in West Virginia and Cabell Midland is ninth. The Highlanders have won the last two duals to retain the Superintendent's Trophy.

"We're excited for it," Semelroth said Monday during practice. "There'll be some tough matches in the lower weights."

Huntington High finished runner-up to host Colonial Forge in the 11th annual Marines.com Battlefield Duals over the weekend in Stafford, Va. The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA in Virginia, beat the Highlanders, 34-28, in the championship match after each team went 4-0 in pool matches.

Cabell Midland placed third in the Jackson County Invitational at Ravenswood High School. Ripley, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA, won the title. The Knights had seven wrestlers place.

"We're coming off a tough trip. We'll see how they respond," Highlanders coach Rob Archer said. "So far they're responded all year. They've handled every hurdle put in front of them."

Semelroth, who wrestled for Big 12 member University of Missouri, took over from Mike Ramsay.

"I heard the job was open and applied for it," Semelroth said. "I've enjoyed it. It's been a blast."

The Knights are young -- three seniors and one junior on the roster. Several wrestlers who played football got late starts as Cabell Midland reached the Class AAA title game in Wheeling. Illness, especially the flu, has taken a toll on the roster as well, but the Knights should be near full strength Wednesday. They fielded their most complete lineup earlier at the Musselman Duals and went 5-0.

"We have to get into wrestling shape," Semelroth said.

Cabell Midland wasn't close to full strength in tournaments at Hurricane, St. Albans and the Wheeling Park Duals.

"It makes it tough," Semelroth said. "We make young mistakes. We have to minimize them. We go to do something, then we don't do it. We're all still learning."

For the Knights, Logan Adkins (106) and Josh Miller (145) placed second at Jackson County. Taking third were Jared Bradley (195), Nathan Jefferson (220), Adam Whittmore (126) and Bryce Smith (132). Aaron Scarr wound up fourth at 138.

Huntington High started the season with a loss at home to St. Paris Graham, ranked No. 8 nationally and defending Ohio Division II champion. The Highlanders won a dual at Ripley and a tri-match at Parkersburg against the Big Reds and Wheeling Park. They were third at the North Canton Holiday Tournament and fifth at the Powerade Tournament.

"The guys know each another," Archer said. "You don't need to say much about this one."

Regardless of the opponent, Semelroth said his message doesn't change.

"Work hard and leave it all on the mat," he said. "I'm upset if they don't."

After the dual, Cabell Midland wrestles this weekend at the Winner's Choice tournament in Fairmont. Huntington High is off until the WSAZ Invitational on Jan. 18-19 at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.