HUNTINGTON - After finishing second last season, Brooke's Nathan Dawson was sure there wouldn't be a repeat this year.
Dawson won his first state championship Saturday night as the Class AAA portion of the 65th annual West Virginia High School Wrestling Championships concluded at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
grapples with John
Marshall’s Thomas Schwing in the
Saturday in Huntington. Dawson brought home a state title with a
Dawson was the only area wrestler to claim a Triple-A title, defeating John Marshall senior Thomas Schwing an all-Ohio Valley 195-pound final.
''I'm so excited,'' Dawson said after exchanging hugs with his coaches and family members.
''I've been waiting for this day for a long time and now that I've got it it's amazing. I can hardly describe it.''
Moments after losing the 189-pound crown to Huntington's Chris Miles last February, Dawson said he made a vow to do whatever it took to win a title.
That extra work paid off Saturday in topping Schwing 9-5, one week after beating the Monarch 3-2.
''I wasn't as offensive last week,'' Dawson said. ''This time I went at him the whole time. That's how I got the victory.''
Dawson, a junior, was fourth at 171 pounds two years ago.
Schwing finished his season 42-8 and came up one victory shy of 100 for his career (99-33).
Parkersburg South senior David Jeffrey became a four-time state champ by pulling away from Wheeling Park freshman Dylan Taylor in the 126-pound title bout.
Jeffrey jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but Taylor tied things at 3-3 before Jeffrey secured the match in the late going.
The Patriots' other finalist - Danny Colby - was pinned by Mussleman's Cody Spinks in 2:30 in the 152-pound championship.
Earlier in the day, the Patriots' Cody Amos finished third, one day after losing to Ripley's Adam Bicak for the second straight season.
Amos, a junior, pinned North Marion's Tyler Arnett in 2:01 Saturday before blasting Parkersburg South's Drake Mills 13-1.
Bicak became a four-time state champ by defeating East Fairmont's Jesse Roman.
The Patriots' Eric Banks (138) and Kodiac Garcia (160) finished fifth.
Banks started Saturday by falling to South's Briar Shively 3-1 before rebounding to defeat East Fairmont's Hayden Stewart 6-2.
Garcia, a sixth-place finisher at 145 two years ago, fell to Garrett Onderko by pin in 2:21 in the consolation semis then defeated University's Blake Lillard 11-7.
Braunlich dropped two matches Saturday and finished sixth. He lost to Preston's Terrance Fanning 3-1 and University's Nate Constante 8-1.
John Marshall's Cullen Ebbert finished fourth again, this time at 220. The sophomore, this year competing at 220, edged Morgantown's Evan Hamilton 3-2 in overtime before falling to Huntington's Nigale Cabell 2-1, also in overtime.
JM's Casey Mowder capped a successful freshmen campaign with a sixth-place finish at 113.
Ripley's Jarred Simpkins majored decisioned Mowder 9-0. In the fifth-place match, Fairmont Senior's Austin Patterson dispatched Mowder 4-2.