HHS hosts Point Pleasant in dual
HUNTINGTON -- One of West Virginia's most anticipated wrestling dual matches takes place Thursday when Point Pleasant visits Huntington High at 6:30 p.m. in Archer-Lucas Gymnasium.
The HHS Highlanders, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA all season, come in off a victory in the 35th WSAZ Invitational last weekend at Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The Highlanders had five champions, seven in the finals overall and totaled 271.5 points.
Point Pleasant, which had won three straight West Virginia Class AA/A state titles, moved up to Class AAA this season and is No. 3 in the state. The Black Knights finished 11th in the 44-team Top Gun Tournament last weekend in Alliance, Ohio.
"It's circled on their schedule and I'm sure they think it's circled on ours," Highlanders coach Rob Archer said.
Billy Waldeck, who won the WSAZ title at 138 pounds, said the Highlanders came back strong after their 43-28 win over Cabell Midland on Jan. 9 in the dual match between the Cabell County rivals. Waldeck had the flu that night and watched in street clothes.
"Awful. We didn't have our heads on straight," Waldeck said. "We paid a price. To come back here and win shows we stepped up."
Waldeck's individual title was his first in the WSAZ.
"It meant a lot to me," Waldeck said after his 11-6 win over Nick Farley of Shady Spring in the finals.
Before the Cabell Midland match, the Highlanders had beaten Ripley, Parkersburg and Wheeling Park in duals and made strong showings in the North Canton Holiday Invitational, Powerade Christmas Invitational and Marines.com Battlefield Duals.
"We have potential," Waldeck said. "We have to meet a high standard everytime we step on the mat."
Point Pleasant finished with 90 points in the Top Gun tournament. Claymont won with 224.5 points. The Black Knights had five placers. They were John Raike, 113, sixth; Michah Powell, 126, sixth; Noah Searls, 138, fifth; Trevor Hill, 170, fourth; and Brycen Reymond, 182, seventh.
"They're a great team," Waldeck said. "We have to make sure we have our heads on straight and do what we know we can do."
After meeting Point Pleasant the Highlanders have the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament Feb. 2 at Parkersburg Memorial Fieldhouse and another big dual match Feb. 7 at home against Parkersburg South, the four-time defending state champion.