Bozek, Hall complete quest for titles
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — One stellar career ended with a state championship.
Another possible stellar career just got started with a state championship.
Oak Glen senior Robert Bozek and Oak Glen freshman Peyton Hall both finished at the top of their respective weight class podiums to cap impressive seasons on Saturday at the West Virginia State Wrestling Tournament at Big Sandy Super Store Arena.
Bozek, who became Oak Glen’s winningest wrestler on Thursday, added one more win and one more state championship to his total as he overcame Frankfort’s Austin Pumphrey by a 5-4 decision in the 138-pound Class AA/A final.
Trailing 4-3 with time winding down, the Golden Bear recorded a takedown with 10 seconds remaining and then held on for the win. He won at 126 as a sophomore and 132 a year ago.
“This feels awesome,” Bozek said after receiving congratulations from anyone and everyone wearing the school’s Blue and Gold. “Especially the way I did it.”
Tied at 3 after Bozek got a takedown with a little over a minute left, he opted to give Pumphrey an escape.
“I knew if I shot I could take him down,” Bozek explained of his late move. “I knew he would just base out.”
With the win, Bozek improved to 42-8 this season and 152-34 for his career. He also became the fifth Oak Glen wrestler to capture three state titles.
Hall, now a sparkling 43-3, had to work overtime in defeating East Fairmont’s two-time state titlist Cole Laya, 3-1, in overtime in the 120-pound final. The two battled into two overtimes last week in the regional finals before Laya prevailed.
“Last week I held back a lot, so I knew I had to finish it (the match) in regulation or the first overtime,” Hall said. “It definitely feels good.”
The two combatants were deadlocked at 1 after six minutes of action. Hall ended things with a takedown 17 seconds into the extra session.
“I had a lot of shots in the match, so I knew I could get the takedown.”
Laya ended this season 45-2 and is now 150-6 for his three-year career.
Oak Glen senior Ty Logston (42-11) wrapped up his career with a fourth place finish at 106 pounds after a 7-1 loss to East Fairmont’s Blake Whorton in the consolation final. Logston reached the consolation final by pinning Bridgeport’s Aidan Gibson in 3:48 earlier in the day.
New dates for the completion of the 70th annual W.Va. State High School Wrestling Tournament were announced. The Class AAA 145, 152 and 170 pound weight classes will now be contested on Monday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 14 at the Fairmont Armory.
“After looking at all the schools involved in those three weight classes, we decided Fairmont was a more centrally located site for schools to make a second trip,” Bernie Dolan, Executive Director of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, explained. “Certainly Fairmont is a great venue.”
Dolan said action will begin at 7 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday. What rounds will be wrestled when has yet to be decided.
“We decided on a Monday and Tuesday so that we didn’t overlap any of our other tournaments,” he added. “We didn’t want to make people have to make a choice on what event they would attend.”
In an unprecedented move prior to the start of the three-day event on Thursday, the WVSSAC decided on the move due to health issues in those weight classifications concerning wrestlers from Region IV.
According to reports, the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), one of the most common infections caused by personal contact during wrestling. The condition, called Herpes gladiatorium, causes skin lesions on the head, neck and shoulders.
Area wrestlers affected included Brooke’s CJ Helms (145), Dalton Yost (152) and Colten Zombeck (170); John Marshall’s Jacob Berisford (152) and Chas McCool (170); and Wheeling Park’s Kaleb Simpkins (170).