TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling Buccaneers will get their 2021-22 campaign underway Thursday at home in a dual meet with the Lewis County Minutemen.
The event, dubbed the “Big Brother Dual” is just one of two home events this year for the Bucs.
The duel begins at 6 p.m.
After three weeks of the preseason wrestling grind, the Bucs are eager to get their season started.
“It’s super that the season is finally here,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr. “The team finally gets to go out and compete against somebody that isn’t wearing the same colors as us. After three weeks, you get to that stagnant point and you want to start the season. We are tired of beating on each other in practice.”
Orr said he expects the season opener being at home to be a good time for his Bucs.
“It will be fun,” stated Orr. “Anytime you get to wrestle in front of your home crowd it’s a good deal. We travel a bunch so it’s nice to have a home meet. Hopefully we can get some community members to come out and support us.”
Orr said Lewis County will be a good opener for his squad.
“They always have a couple of tough kids,” noted Orr. “They will be ready to wrestle as well. They have been beating on each other for three weeks just like us. I am sure they are ready to face someone different as well.”
Orr said that for the opener, his Bucs will have two weight classes they won’t be able to fill and that is at 182 pounds and heavyweight.
The line-up against Lewis County will be junior Nathaniel Tyson (106 pounds), freshman Ian Cornett (113), sophomore Liam Garcia (120), senior Aidan Wilson (126), freshman Colton Wendling (132), sophomore Brodee Kennedy (138), junior Nathan Cornett (145), senior Tucker Hurst (152), senior Luke Bohnsack (160), Trevor Miller-Waycaster (170), sophomore Oscar Blonn (195) and freshman JT Thompson (220).
Orr said his Bucs are relatively healthy going into the opener.
“In wrestling terms we are healthy,” noted Orr. “You are always going to have the bumps and bruises from the sport. It’s just the nature of wrestling, but we push through that.”
The Bucs will be without heavyweight Alex Bennett for the opener. Bennett, a state-tournament qualifier last season, is being held out of the opener for precautionary reasons.
“Bennett is ready to wrestle,” said Orr. “He aggravated a pre-existing injury during football season, but he is ready to go. We are just being cautious instead of rushing him out there. That will be a big loss for us Thursday but it is what it is.”
For Bennett, although he won’t be competing in the opener, he is excited to be back on the mat with his team and to watch his teammates get their season started Thursday.
“I am just happy to be back on the mat and wrestling with the team,” noted Bennett. “Being back with them and competing with them is great. I am excited to watch them compete Thursday. It’s always fun to wrestle Lewis County. They aren’t going to laydown for us. It will be a dogfight.”
For Wilson, who finished fourth at states last year, said he is happy that the season is finally here, but it’s how you finish, not how you start.
“It’s pretty exciting to get our season started,” said Wilson. “It gets pretty repetitive in practice being here with the same guys. Seeing a new face and new competition will help a lot. It’s also nice to show what we have been working on for those that show up to watch us perform. It is always fun to perform in front of a home crowd, especially if it is against Lewis County. That said, I think its more important to show progression as a wrestler throughout the season than it is to worry about getting that first win. No matter how talented you are or your skill level at the beginning, if you work hard you can win it all at the end.”
Following their opener Thursday, the Bucs will visit Washington High Saturday for a high-level event in the Washington Elite Opener.
BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR WRESTLING ROSTER
BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR WRESTLING SCHEDULE
Dec. 2 – Lewis County Dual
Dec. 4 – at Washington Elite Opener
Dec. 8 – at Morgantown Dual
Dec. 11 – at Cabell Midland Duals Tournament
Dec. 17-18 – at Musselman Duals
Dec. 22 – at Parkersburg Quad
Dec. 30 – at Grafton Duals
Jan. 8 – at Brooke Quad
Jan. 14-15 – at Fairmont Winner’s Choice Tournament
Jan. 22 – at Brooke Classic Tournament
Jan. 29 – Home Quad with John Marshall, Hurricane and Roane County
Feb. 4-5 – at Big 10 Conference Tournament @ North Marion
Feb. 19 – at Region I Tournament @ John Marshall
March 3-5 – at West Virginia State Tournament @ Huntington