Little Kanawha Cauliflower Club
LITTLE KANAWHA CONFERENCE WRESTLING
established 1964
Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities"


Team Champions Top Wrestlers

Individual Champions
Alphabetical by Team 1964-1983 1984-2000

*Braxton County +Cairo *Calhoun County *Clay County
+Doddridge County +Gilmer County Gilmore (New Era) Glenville
+Harrisville Normantown +Parkersburg Catholic Pennsboro
*Ravenswood *Ritchie County +Ripley *Roane County
*St Marys Sand Fork +Sistersville +South Harrison
+Spencer Tanner Troy Tyler County
*Wahama +Walton *Williamstown *Wirt County
(* active wrestling team in LKC, + inactive)

HISTORY

The Little Kanawha Conference (LKC) established their wrestling league in 1964 when four schools meet in Harrisville (Ritchie County) , West Virginia for their inaugural tournament. Those four charter members were Cairo High School, Calhoun County High School, Harrisville High School and Wirt County High School. In 1980, the conference set a record with eleven teams participating. Of the 28 schools associated with the LKC over the years, 20 have participated in the conference wrestling tournament. The LKC have captured ten State Championships. Wirt County won the the State in 1968 when it was one classification. Since the split of AAA and AA-A, Spencer has won titles in 1977, 1984, 1988 and 1990. Williamstown won titles in 1982 and 1983 and St. Marys has won titles in 1985, 1986 and 1989.

Harrisville High School started their wrestling program in 1934 under Coach George Hartman and claimed four State Championships under legendary Coach Creed Westfall in 1938, 1940, 1941 and 1942. Wrestling was discontinued at Harrisville during World War II and was not started until several years after wrestling was reintroduced to the state after the War. The green Gators never did find that championship form as their best finish was two runner-ups in the LKC in 1964 and 1965. After 1965, they did not participate again until 1976 and continued their program through 1986 when they consolidated with Pennsboro High School to form Ritchie County High School. Coach Westfall relocated to Latrobe Pennsylvania in 1942 and started their wrestling program. In 1972, Coach Westfall retired from wrestling and was elected to the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1974.

Wirt County had three years experience before the LKC tournament, starting their wrestling program in 1961 under Coach Charles Roberts. The Tigers have been the most dominate team in the LKC over the years. They won the first eight conference crowns and overall, have claimed 13 conference titles, 4 runner-ups and 7 thirds. Wirt County can claim to be the LKC team of the sixties and the nineties, claiming six LKC tiles from 1964-1971 and five titles, one runner-up and three third-place finishes from 1990-1999. Before wrestling split to two divisions in 1976, Wirt County was the first and only small school to win a state title when they toppled the big schools at the state tournament in 1968. Individually, Wirt has had four four-time conference champions, seven three-time conference champions and five outstanding conference wrestlers.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride was attributed to Calhoun County Wrestling until the 2002 team took center mat and won the schools first title after 38 years of also ran. Calhoun County Wrestling have participated in every conference tournament but one. Before their back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, they sported several outstanding teams with their closest chance for victory coming in 2001 when they were defeated by six and a half points, 1966 when they were beaten by 12 points and 1970 when they lost by 14. Besides their 2002 title, they have claimed eight runner-up titles and six third-place finishes. Individually, they have claimed three outstanding wrestler awards with Malcolm Ashley in 1982, Paul Staton in 1990 and Justin Ashley in 2002. Calhoun started their wrestling program in 1963 under Coach Donald Weaver.

The last of the charter members is Cairo High School. The Pharoahs participated in their only LKC tournament in the inaugural season without claiming any individual titles. Eventually Cairo High School closed their doors in the early seventies and transferred their students to Harrisville High School. It is unknown when wrestling began at Cairo.

Williamstown was the fifth team to wrestle in the LKC. They started their program in 1958 under Coach Ron Deem and began wrestling in the LKC's second tournament in 1965. The Yellowjackets have participated in every tournament since then and are tied in second with Calhoun County in most LKC tournaments participated in, just one behind leading Wirt County. Over the years, Williamstown claimed seven conference titles, six runner-ups and ten third-place finishes. The Yellowjackets toppled Wirt County in 1972 after eight years of dominance by the Tigers. Individually, Williamstown has been just as successful with one four-time conference champ, seven three-time champs and three outstanding wrestler awards. the Yellowjackets also hosted the most successful father-son combo in West Virginia Wrestling. Bill and son, Mike Mason claimed seven conference crowns and four state titles while combining for an overall record of 177-6. a winning percentage of 96.7%. Bill's career record was 63-5 while Mike's four year record was 114-1 for a whooping 99.1%.

Ripley and Ravenswood became the sixth and seventh members to join the LKC in wrestling. Ripley spent two tours in the league joining initially in their first season under Coach Steve McMillion. The Vikings first tour lasted for 9 years from 1966 through 1974. After a three years absence, they rejoined the conference in 1978 for an additional ten years, until 1987. They captured their only LKC title in 1981 in addition to four runner-up titles and two third place finishes. Individually, the Vikings one three-time champion was Steve Jorden,

Ravenswood, like Ripley, initially wrestled in the tournament form 1966 through 1974 and re-entered in 1978. Unlike Ripley, the Red Devils have participated in every tournament since 1978. Ravenswood's program was started in 1966 by Coach Edward Bennett. The red and black have claimed two LKC titles, four runner-ups and two third-place finishes. Their wrestlers include three three-time champions and three outstanding wrestlers.

Spencer dominated the sport in the seventies after joining the wrestling league in 1968 as it's eighth member. The Yellowjackets were first coached by Joe Evans. From 1972 to 1981, the Blue and Gold claimed five LKC crowns, one runner-up and three third-place finishes . Before closing their doors and consolidating with Walton High School in 1994 to form Roane County High School, Spencer had claimed eight LKC titles, four runner-ups and five third-place finishes. Spencer also claimed four state team titles and is the alma mater of one of West Virginia's most celebrated high school wrestlers, Matt Ashley. Matt not only became the LKC's first four-time conference champion, but also West Virginia's first four-time state champion. the Yellowjackets have also had five three-time LKC champions and seven outstanding wrestlers.

Walton became the LKC's ninth member in 1969 when the school started the sport under Coach Frank Hughes. The Green Tigers never threatened for a championship in their eight years in the league with their best finish being fourth in 1972. Walton's Byrd Wolfe claimed the conference's first outstanding wrestler in 1973.

The Conference's 10th member was St. Marys in 1970 under Coach Lewis Berkhimer. The Blue Devils proved to be the dominant team in the late eighties and early nineties claiming four titles and three runner-ups in seven years from 1985 through 1991. Overall, the Purple and Gold have won five conference titles, four runner-ups and three third-place crowns. Highlighting St. Marys' wrestling heritage is three State Championships. Individually, St. Marys have had two four-time conference champions, two three-time conference champions and six outstanding wrestlers.

Wahama started their wrestling program under Coach David Arritt and became the league's 11th member in 1971. The White Falcons participated in the LKC for three years and then made their second appearance in 2000 after a 27 year abscence.

Gilmer County spent nine years in the league as the 12th member beginning in 1972. The Titans were first coached by Bill Piercy in 1970 after consolidating the Glenville Red Terrors, Normantown Vikings, Sand Fork Lions and the Troy Trojans. Gilmer's best finish in the LKC was fourth in 1977.

Parkersburg Catholic became the 13th school to wrestle in the LKC when they first appeared in 1976. Ironically, the Crusaders have also particpated in 13 tournaments over the years with their last appearence occurring in 1997. Though, never a threat to the team title, Catholic has had several quality wrestlers with 1976's Mike Doonan heading the list, being voted the LKC's outstanding wrestler that year.

The 14th school to wrestle in the LKC was Doddridge County in 1977. The Bulldogs participated in 10 tournaments, placing 6th in 1983 as their best finish.

South Harrison spent one season in the LKC, placing ninth in the 1980 tournament. The Black and Orange Hawks became the 15th school to take part in LKC wrestling and also was a part of the largest field of teams in that lone appearence.

Ritchie County wrestled in the LKC in the first year of the schools existance in 1987. A consolidation of the Pennsboro Cardinals and Harrisville Gators, the Blue and Gray became the 16th wrestling school in the LKC. Inheriting the legacy of Harrisville, the Rebels have slowly brought the county back into the state's best teams with a second place finish in the 1999 State Tournament. Ritchie have two runner-up finishes and one third-place finish in LKC competition and Jason Hayhurst became the school's first three-time conference champion in 2000.

Sistersville wrestled for five years in the LKC from 1989 to 1993. The Black and Orange Tigers first appeared on the wrestling scene in 1934 when a young WVU college grad name Floyd "Ben" Schwartzwalder started the sport at the Tyler County school. Schwartzwalder, a Point Pleasant native and Huntington High graduate, later moved on to coach football at Syracuse University in 1949 for 25 years. The winner of the annual WVU-Syracuse game is awarded the Schwartzwalder Trophy. Sistersville entry in the LKC made them the 17th school to participate in the league's mat sport. Their best finish was seventh place in 1990.

Roane County never missed a beat on the wrestling scene after being formed from the consolidation of Spencer and Walton High Schools in 1994. Under the guidance of Coach Garry Bender, the Maroon and Silver Raiders became the 18th school to wrestle in the tournament and have claimed one championship title, one runner-up and two third-place finishes.

In 1995, Braxton County became the 19th school to grapple in the LKC. The Kelly Green and Gold wrestlers are still coached by the same man who founded the sport for the Eagles in 1972. In 2000, the school captured their first conference crown. Former grappler, Rick Merzouk became a two-time NAIA All-America at West Liberty.

The most recent addition to LKC wrestling is Clay County, when they became the twentieth member in 1999. The Panthers was first introduce to wrestling in 1965 under Coach Bobb Stover. The Blue and Gold resumed their program in 1998 after a ten-year hiatus from the sport. In 2001, they had their best finish placing third overall and sported the Conference Outstanding Wrestler that year in Robert Stutler.


1964 - Four schools: Cairo, Calhoun County, Harrisville and Wirt County.
1965 - Cairo is replaced by Williamstown. (4 schools)
1966 - Ripley and Ravenswood is added. Harrisville drops out. (5 schools)
1968 - Spencer joins LKC Wrestling. (6 schools)
1969 - Walton is added. (7 teams)
1970 - St. Marys participates. (8 schools)
1971 - Wahama wrestles in the tournament. (9 schools)
1972 - Gilmer County joins conference. (10 schools)
1974 - Calhoun County and Wahama do not particpate. (8 schools)
1975 - Ripley and RAvenswood dropps out. Calhoun County rejoins. (7 schools)
1976 - Harrisville rejoins. Parkersburg Catholic first participates. (9 schools)
1977 - Walton dropps out. Doddridge County joins. (9 schools)
1978 - Ravenswood and Ripley rejoins. Doddridge drops out. (10 schools)
1979 - Doddridge rejoins. Catholic does not participate. (10 schools)
1980 - South Harrison participates. (11 schools)
1981 - South Harrison and Gilmer County drops out. (9 schools)
1986 - Catholic rejoins. (10 schools)
1987 - Ritchie County replaces Harrisville. (8 schools)
1988 - Ripley and Doddridge County drops out. (8 schools)
1989 - Sistersville joins. (9 schools)
1990 - Catholic drops out. (8 schools)
1991 - Catholic rejoins. (9 schools)
1993 - Catholic drops out. (8 schools)
1994 - Roane County replaces Spencer. (8 schools)
1995 - Braxton County joins. (9 schools)
1998 - Roane County and Catholic drops out. (7 schools)
1999 - Clay County joins. (8 schools)
2000 - Roane County rejoins. (9 schools)


Contributors to these pages are Pat Peters, Mike Nicholas, Mick Mullenix, Tim Miller, WVMAT, "The Emergence of High School Wrestling in West Virgiinia" by George Nedeff, and The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Information on these pages can be found in the LKC 2000 Tournament Program. For a copy of the program contact Pat Peters at wpeters@citynet.net.

For corrections/updates contact:
brentster@casinternet.net
Brent Sams
1905 9th Ave.
PArkersburg, WV 26101