Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

December 29, 2012

Kentucky grapplers edge Grundy in Agie Skeens tourney

GRUNDY, Va. — Franklin County didn’t return to defend its Agie Skeens Memorial wrestling tournament title.

It did, however, return the trophy.

Unfortunately it wasn’t returned in one piece and unfortunately for Grundy it now moves on to Kentucky.

The Golden Wave had three individual champs, but Johnson Central (Ky.) captured the Agie Skeens team title Saturday, topping Grundy, 257-239, at Riverview Elementary-Middle School.

Maverick Coleman (106 pounds), Trey Smith (132) and Justin Street (138) won titles for Grundy. Johnson Central had five individual champs.

Grundy had five other wrestlers in the finals: Cody Puckett (113), Austin Hurley (120), Austin Compton (126), Elliott Pedigo (145) and Jordan McCowan (182).

Coleman is part of a talented new wave of Grundy wrestlers who grew up watching the 16-time state champs, including hours spent over the years at the Agie.

One of two Grundy freshmen in the finals, along with Pedigo, Coleman dominated Benedictine Prep’s Garrett McCloud before settling for a 15-0 tech fall.

“When I was little I was always looking forward to this tournament, thinking I can’t wait to be there and that I’m going to win,” Coleman said. “It feels really good. I spent a lot of time preparing for this and now it’s finally here.”

Smith won easily in the finals while Street, another undefeated Grundy wrestler and defending state champ, won his third Agie Skeens crown by pinning Rural Retreat’s Daniel Snider for the second time in three weeks.

“It’s such an honor to win three (times) out of three chances,” said Street, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. “The Agie is a really big deal to me and to win as a senior, it’s really awesome. The home crowd, it’s unbelievable, the energy really gets your blood boiling.”

Grundy had a shot at overcoming a slim deficit going into the finals, but lost five of eight finals matches overall.

“We kind of had a few slip-ups, a few mistakes in the finals, some things we were counting on that didn’t happen, so I guess we’ll just go back to the drawing board and learn from it,” Grundy coach Travis Fiser said. “But there were some positives, especially with our freshmen.

“We were one-for-one there with Elliot (Pedigo) in a bigger weight at 145, and that’s tough, but he gave a good effort. I’m proud of how he’s doing and Maverick (Coleman) is looking good. He’s starting to get some confidence and realizing how good he is.”

Graham’s Dustin Hagerman placed third at 113 pounds by pinning Johnson Central’s T.J. Bowen at the 3:37 mark in the consolation finals. Kyshon Lee (170) and Aaron Vest (182) also added third-place finishes for the G-Men.

Lee pinned Burton’s Logan Dean in 2:46, while Vest won a 4-0 decision over Northside’s Ethan Duckworth in their last matches of the tourney.

Two area wrestlers placed fourth: Dylan Raines (152) of Grundy and Austin Lankford (160) of Richlands.

Richlands’ Caleb Lankford (145) and Graham’s Everett Vest each placed fifth. Wyatt Cantrell (Richlands, 120), Anthony Potter (Grundy, 160) and Robert Compton (Graham, 195) all finished sixth.

Three local wrestlers took seventh: Chris Haywood (170) of Richlands and Graham B-teamers Levi Stroupe (182) and John Jennings (220). Kyle Cruey (132)and Douglas Elswick (182) of Richlands and Grundy heavyweight Daniel Honaker each placed eighth.

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