PARKERSBURG - The three-week summer coaching period in West Virginia allows head coaches a vast array of options and Parkersburg High School head mat coach Chris Way is once again taking full advantage of it this year.
Live wrestling sessions continued on Wednesday inside Memorial Fieldhouse, but it's just not the Big Reds who are competing and trying to get better.
Since Monday, there has been an open practice from 1-3 p.m. and then live wrestling from 5-7 p.m. That will continue today and on Friday, but only the practice session will take place on Friday.
JAY W. BENNETT Special to The Times
Ohio Division III sectional wrestling champion Jake Hall of Belpre High School, left, goes through some warmups with Parkersburg High School state runner-up Dylan Richards on Wednesday evening at Parkersburg High School.
"For this format, it's the third year we've done this," said Way, who had Ohio University head coach Joel Greenlee on campus Tuesday while former Big Red wrestler Mark Roberts has his team in town from Riverbend High School in Virginia where he coaches at.
"(So far this week) we've had people from Belpre, (Parkersburg) South, Warren, Williamstown, Roane County, Ripley and just anybody that wanted to come to make it a little more competitive."
Way was able to secure the Jack Stephens Gymnasium this week and that's where all the mat action is taking place. Although not everyone can make it each day, he's just glad to see as many wrestlers come out as possible.
"I know a lot of guys, some have baseball games, some have football practices or 7 on 7s and some guys have been trying to be here all the time," said Way, who noted the wrestlers can get six matches in during the evening session.
"If they are on the mat at all it's better than not being on the mat. Some is better than none. Hopefully, we can keep this going next year and the year after and make it a lot bigger."
Ideally, Way would like to see upward of 100 wrestlers going at it all week long.
"My goal would be to have more than 100 kids with our live sessions. That would be pretty neat," said the coach. "If we stick with this format we can get there.
"Usually, if you are going to wrestle six matches you have to travel two to three hours and pay a couple hundred dollars in food, gas and entry fees and things like that. This is an opportunity where there is no charge, just do it and wrestle."