Lightning may not strike twice in the same place, but West Jefferson High School’s wrestlers proved hard work can result in back-to-back Mid-State League championships.
On Feb. 11, Jefferson Local Schools Board of Education members recognized the team’s winning season with a resolution lauding coaches and players for outstanding achievements, superior performance and commitment.
"Because of these achievements, they have represented West Jefferson High School in a manner that has instilled pride in the athletes, the student body, teaching staff, administrative staff, school board, and the general community of the Jefferson Local School District," said Superintendent William Mullett.
"Their achievements include: Mid-State League champions for the second year in a row, a dual meet record of 30-6, which breaks the school record for wins in a single season (the previous record was 27, which was set last season); West Jefferson Duals champions; Westland Invitational champions; Jonathan Alder Invitational champions; upset the Number 4 state ranked Delta Panthers 39-34 at the St. Mary’s Duals meet; and currently ranked seventh in the state."
Individual all-league wrestlers are seniors Tony Martin and Vince Gualtieri, who is ranked second in the state; sophomores Marco Gualtieri, Luke Mickle, and Tyler Fabry; and freshmen Tyler Reichle, Aaron Branham, and Sean Prather. Jimmy Householder has a record of 45-1 and is ranked second in the state.
Fellow varsity team members also include: Ronnie Mansfield, Larry Redden, Jake Cochran, Ryan Fultz, Ryan Cochran, Zach Johnson, Dillon Harper, Montana Siniff, Shane Reed, Travis Ratcliff, T.J. Langermeier, Phillip Krumm, Mauricio Santos, Austin Mclean, Alex Khunjua, Justin Jacobs and Jasper Frantzen.
"The kids worked extra hard," said Coach Tom Cochran. "This is the second year they’ve reached the league championship and they’ve done really well. Hopefully, they’ll continue on at the sectionals at Northridge High School. The whole coaching staff has been very committed to the team."
In addition to Cochran, the coaching staff includes Mike Branham, CeJay Blevins, Vance Fabry, Sean Prather, and Ben Llanas.
During regular board action, Treasurer Jill Smith said district insurance claims for September through the end of the calendar year were roughly 5 percent higher than for the same period in 2006. However, Smith pointed out, the increase is not significant and is within expectations.
Assistant Treasurer Teri Allison tendered her resignation, for retirement purposes, effective June 30 of this year, and Smith reported the district spent approximately $23,000 in January for electric service provided by AEP.