When Nathan Dawson stepped off the mats in Huntington last February as the 195-pound Class AAA champion it was the culmination of years of hard work by the Brooke junior.
This year, he hopes to get back for Coach Rod Pattison.
Dawson will certainly be one of the favorites to return to Big Sandy Superstore Arena as the senior is one of the top prospects in the state.
He is already ranked first in the OVAC. The Bruins open their season Dec. 5 at Wheeling Park in a triangular with Morgantown.
"I've been waiting for this day for a long time and now that I've got it it's amazing,'' Dawson said following last season's state championship against John Marshall's Thomas Schwing.
The victory was sweet for Dawson, who one year earlier left the mat stage disappointed after falling to Huntington's Chris Miles in the 189-pound final.
In 2010, Dawson finished fourth at 171 pounds at state.
One month before winning his first state championship, Dawson brought home the 195-pound crown at the Ron Mauck OVAC Championships. He finished fifth at 189 pounds at WesBanco Arena in 2011 and didn't place as a freshman.
Dawson's biggest challenges for this year's OVAC crown could come from Steubenville's Charlie Keenan and East Liverpool's John Miscuk. Both of them finished fourth last season in the OVACs.