The Tyler Consolidated High School wrestling program hosted their annual "Larry Richie Memorial Wrestle-A-Bout Tournament" on Dec. 14 at the school. The tournament is named for beloved mentor, friend, and long time coach of the Silver Knights, Larry Richie, who passed away in 2012.
Nine teams participated in the tournament with the Blue Eagles of Magnolia outscoring the field in order to take the overall team win with 195.5 points. Toronto placed second with 184; St. Clairsville, 164.5; Bridgeport, 103; St. Marys, 93; Tyler Consolidated, 81; Ritchie County, 74.5; Clay Battelle, 67; and River with two team points.,
The Knights were able to place five wrestlers at the tourney in order to gain their sixth place finish.
In the 132 pound weight class, Knight sophomore Chase Cooper had a good day on the mats with a second place finish on the podium, just behind Magnolia's Clay Adams.
Consolidated freshman Brandon Keys, wrestling at 195, took second in his weight class, falling to St. Marys' Jeremy Pratt.
Knight heavyweight sophomore Austin Spencer placed third in his weight class; and Ben Pratt and Tyler Johnson, wrestling at 106 and 126 respectively, each placed third at the tournament.
"Some of the others endured their first tournament and accomplished their first win of the season/career," said Knight coach, Chad Snider and overall director of the tournament. "Great job guys, sorry I was face to face with a computer for most of the day, and wasn't able to coach as much as I would have liked."
The coach said he would like to offer a special thank you to all those persons working behind the scenes, at the scorers tables and elsewhere, to make the tournament the success that it was. "I do apologize if I let the stresses of directing a tournament get in the way of socializing with all of my great help," he said. "We had appearances from some past greats: Joe Henthorn, John Brosky, Dustin Tawney, Raphe Bailes, and Brody Northcraft. Thanks again guys, we couldn't have done it without you."
"All of the parents whom were able to lend a hand in the concessions and preparing food for the hospitality room were very much appreciated also. Our school cooks made us a batch of delicious pepperoni rolls!"
"Becky Ruble, Katie Snider, Patty Snider, and Jill LeMasters always make it happen in the food department; Mike and Debbie Northcraft and Earl Snider were a huge help in directing of the tournament; Bob Jones and Joe Semple held the fort down; and we also had students from various school organizations earning community service. I saw Knight cheerleaders, NHS members, and middle school Knights wrestlers. Connie Stewart's classes and other teachers donated food. And this is just a fraction of the people that came and helped out."
"It is very difficult to find this many people willing to give their time for such an event. I just wanted you all to know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed or appreciated. It feels good to have such great community support."
Earlier in the week, the Knights wrestled a tri at Magnolia, but did not see much success with only Cooper, Keys, and Spencer earning team points.
"For many of our guys it was their first official match ever for them, so they weren't sure what to think," Coach Snider said. "I think it was good for the young men to see where they stood with the competition; they have realized that success in wrestling has to be earned. So, we hope to learn from our losses."
The Silver Knight wrestlers will see action again on Dec. 21 at the Ritchie County Tournament. On Jan. 2 the team will head to Beallsville for a triangular and will participate in the Cameron Tournament on Jan. 4.