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Lewis' Freda comes away with title at 275

by Bruce Short

CORRESPONDENT

HUNTINGTON -- Lewis County's A.J. Freda brought home the only state title for the area, while Grafton's Trampas Efaw fell short in taking home the top honor in the West Virginia State Wrestling Championship at the Huntington Civic Center on Saturday.

Freda, the Class AA-A Region II champion, scored his match's lone point in the second period to defeat Oak Glen's Patrick McGillian, 1-0, in the finals of the 275-pound group.

Freda, a junior, finished the season with 43-2 record.

Efaw, aiming for his first state title after finishing second last year at 171 pounds, faced Berkeley Springs' Josh Clark for the third time this season in the AA-A 189-pound class.

The results were the same for Efaw, falling to Clark by a pin with 24 seconds left in the match.

Efaw, a senior, finished the year with a 38-3 and a career record of 157-31.

"It's been a lot of fun," Efaw said. "I've enjoyed it and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."

In the team competition, Oak Glen (208.5 points) retained its title for the seventh consecutive year. Williamstown finished a distance second at 143.5. Lewis finished 12th at 46, Grafton was tied for 19th at 33 and Bridgeport (17th, 16), South Harrison (31st, 8) and Liberty (37th, 3) rounded out the area teams.

In AAA, the title stayed in Wood County, but it changed schools. Parkersburg (226.5) unseated four-time defending champion Parkersburg South (182.5) for the title.

Brooke and East Fairmont each tied for third with 117. Local teams competing in Class AAA were Buckhannon-Upshur (14th, 54), Elkins (21st, 16) and Robert C. Byrd (tie-24th, 12).

Three other area wrestlers gained all-state honors for finishing in the top six.

In Class AA-A 130 pounds, Lewis County's Jeremy McCarty advanced to the consolation finals downing Weir's Gary Dankovchik, 6-4, in overtime. McCarty was aggressive in the overtime, and on his second attempt of a takedown, he made it stick for a 2-point score to earn a berth in the consolation final.

In his final match, McCarthy was defeated by Oak Glen's Jess Mahan, 6-4.

Lewis County coach Eddie Williams was pleased with his team's performance.

"We came down with three and all won their first round matches. Darren Post ran into a couple tough ones. McCarthy lost to the champion and fought his way back up to fourth, which is a real good thing for a freshman," Williams said. "Hopefully we will bring down a few more next year. We need to get a few more out."

Grafton's Kevin Efaw placed sixth in the Class AA-A 145-pound class in his first attempt at a state title. Efaw fell to the fifth-place match by Point Pleasant's Jesse Nott on a 12-5 decision. Ritchie County's Jeremy Wince pinned Efaw midway in the second period in the fifth-place match.

In Class AA-A 189 pounds, South Harrison's Joe Moore claimed sixth place. The junior fell to third-place finisher, Roane County's Dwayne Freeland, by a 7-5 decision. Moore had a 5-0 lead at the end if the first round but was unable to hold off Freeland, who scored the last three points on a near fall with seconds to go in the match.