By Betty Gandee

Pictured in the back row from left to right are: Bratton Samples- 7th place, Matt Price- 8th place, Zane Minger- Champion, Pierce Adkins-Runner Up, James Sears- 7th place. In the front row from left to right are: Caiden Bryant- 5th place, Trenton Neal- 8th place, Blake Coleman- 8th place, and not pictured is Jake Legg- 5th place.

Hours of practice, hard work, and determination has earned some young wrestlers in Clay top honors this week.  Several wrestlers went head to head over the past few weeks to compete for the WV Youth State Championship title.

Zane Minger is pictured here with his dad, Michael Minger.

At such a young age these athletes know that it takes a lot of dedication to succeed in such a sport.  Taking the Champion spot for the second year in a row was a big achievement for Zane Minger. He says that one thing wrestling has taught him is to keep chasing what you’ve strived for.  Zane has been wrestling for eight years now, and says it feels good to win!

“My dad has taught me a lot of physical and mental aspects of this sport, like learning from my mistakes, and acting like a man whether you win or lose,” said Minger.

Pierce Adkins was the runner up, coming in at second place, and is no stranger to hard work.  Adkins has been wrestling for four years and says although he won second place this year, he is striving for that Champion title next year.

Champion Zane Minger and runner up Pierce Adkins.

“The feeling is amazing, and I’m going to work hard try again for first place,” said Adkins.  He says one thing he has learned from wrestling is that it’s a tough sport, and although you wrestle alone, you are still part of a team. When he does well, his team does well.  Before Pierce takes the mat, he thinks about winning and tries not to get too nervous.

“Even if I beat a kid before, I try to remember that they might be better now, and I don’t want to underestimate my opponent,” he said.

Congratulations to all the youth wrestlers of Clay County and for bringing home some big wins in the state competition.