Trio of Indian Wrestlers Win Big 10 Conference Titles as Postseason Set to Begin with Regional Action

By Jeff Toquinto on February 12, 2020 via

Bridgeport wrapped up the regular season portion of its wrestling slate Saturday by competing in the Big 10 Conference Championship at Lincoln High School. The event was moved to Saturday only after school was canceled on Friday.
The Indians finished sixth with 108 points on the day. Fairmont Senior rolled to the title with 250.5 points in the event.
“Satisfied,” said Coach Chris Courtney when asked how he felt about the showing. “We had wrestlers out due to flu.  Like always in wrestling if you want to compete competitively as a team you need to have competitors in each of the weight classes.”
Despite the sixth-place finish, Bridgeport managed to have a trio of wrestlers finish as champions in their individual weight classifications. Bladen Roush, Derek Starkey and Aidan Gibson all managed to leave Shinnston as conference champions.
Gibson continued his dominating season in the 160-pound classification. He collected three pin falls on his way to the championship and moved his record on the season to an impressive 31-8 for the Bridgeport squad.
“Aidan is ready to make a run for the title. He is solid in all parts of his game,” the coach said.
Starkey also continued a strong year. Like Gibson he was able to capture a championship in his weight class – 145 pounds – by pinning all three of his opponents on the day. Thanks to the victories, Starkey is now 21-5 for the Tribe.
“I like what I saw with Derek this weekend. We have been on him to add different attacks on his feet,” said Courtney “He showed that he can make those changes. I am looking forward to how he closes out the season.”
For Roush, the road to the championship proved more difficult. However, it was just as satisfying if not more.
Roush didn’t collect any pins and won all three of his matches by decision – all of which were close. He won by scores of 5-3 and 6-3 before getting a 9-8 victory against his opponent from Grafton to win the championship at 138 pounds.
“Bladen looked very good. He has a lot of fight. Hopefully this creates momentum going into regionals,” said Courtney. “He has a competitive region and will need to be at his best this Friday.”
While those three were the only BHS wrestlers to win their classifications, they weren’t the only wrestlers to place on the day. The Indians had several to stand on the podium at the end of the day at Lincoln.
The top finisher after the winners was Bryce Carnes who managed to finish in fourth. Connor Arnett place fifth, while Xander Mouser and Brody Carnes both placed sixth in their respective weight classes. 
Bridgeport will return to action Friday as the postseason is set to begin. The Indians will compete in regional competition (Region II) at Braxton County High School. The two-day event begins Friday at 4 p.m. and will resume Saturday at BCHS. Saturday’s action begins at 10 a.m.
“Goal is always to qualify more than the previous year. It is up to each of the wrestlers to get their bodies and mind right,” said Courtney “We have a great group of competitors. I hope they all get to display their talents at states.”
Editor's Note: Photos from Big 10 meet by Ben Queen Photography.

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