WHEELING, W.Va. — The Punxsutawney varsity wrestling team had a strong showing last Tuesday and Wednesday at the Wheeling Park tournament as the Chucks took 10th place out of the 40-team field.
While the Chucks as a team looked strong up and down the board, the annual tournament was highlighted by the return of senior Kody Young, wrestling in his first action of the season.
Young, along with teammate Neko Cappella, finished the two-day tournament with a combined record of 8-0 to lead Punxsy, with Young's victories coming in record-breaking fashion.
Entering the tournament, Young was tied for the all-time wins total of 110. Now, Young has 118 career wins, and holds the record outright.
Young won five of his eight matches by pin fall.
Day 1 of the tournament watched as Punxsy posted a 3-1 record, picking up wins over North Hills (45-30), Clinton-Massey, Ohio (40-30), and East Fairmond, W.Va. (52-9), before falling to Maple Heights, Ohio (45-27).
Day 2 wasn't as successful for Punxsy as the Chucks took on some of the top competition the tournament had to offer, finishing 0-4 on the day. Those losses came at the hands of Point Pleasant, W.Va. (54-18), Steubenville, Ohio (43-34), Jackson, Ohio (55-12), and Hedgesville, Md. (39-34).
Combined, Punxsy finished 3-5 for the tournament, putting the Chucks at 4-6 for the season.
Following up Young and Capella's big tournament results were Seth Spack, Nathan McGregor and Duell Thompson, who all finished with 6-2 records.
"I was real happy with Duell, and especially Neko," Punxsy head coach Eric Eddy said. "Seth stepped it up a notch, too."
One of the more impressive areas for Punxsy during the tournament came from 150 pounds and higher, as numerous Chucks bumped up a weight class for the betterment of the team, and wrestled hard.
McGregor bumped up to 160 pounds, a big bump for him, and was strong at 6-2 for the tourney, while Carl Langley weighed in at 160 pounds before moving to 171 pounds.
Josh Neal weighed in at 171 pounds and bumped to 189 pounds before Tige Woodson, who weighed in at 185 pounds, wrestled most of the tournament at 215 pounds.
"It's real selfless for all four of them to do what's best for the team," Eddy said.