Logan High School’s Daniel Browning made a good showing this past weekend at the 71st-annual West Virginia State High School Wrestling Tournament at Huntington as he took fifth place in the 182-pound weight class.
Browning was the first LHS wrestler to compete in the state meet since Alex Crum in 2014. He was the first Logan wrestler to place at state since 2010 when Michael Cotterall took first in the 285-pound weight class.
A total of 84 high schools competed in the state meet — 29 in Class AAA and 55 in the combined AA/A division.
As a team, LHS was 37th in the overall standings.
Browning began his climb by starting out last Thursday night with a thrilling 5-4 triple overtime victory over Braxton County freshman Quin Meador.
He then had to face eventual four-time state champion Jacob Hart from Independence High School, losing by fall.
Following the loss Browning won yet another thrilling overtime victory, 3-1, over Greenbrier West junior Logan Foley in the consolation bracket.
This victory advanced Browning to the consolation quarterfinals, facing region junior Alex Hale. He prevailed in close 4-3 decision, avenging last week’s 8-2 loss in the Region 4 semifinals. Winning this match guaranteed him a placement, at worst fifth or sixth and at best third or fourth.
In the next match, Browning suffered a defeat by fall to North Marion senior Andrew Lewis who finished third.
The loss resulted in now wrestling for fifth place vs. Berkley Springs senior Garrett Morris. Browning prevailed again in yet another thrilling overtime victory, 5-3, earning him a fifth-place finish.
“I told Daniel earlier last week that he would have his work cut out for him, just looking at the records of the wrestlers who qualified it would be an uphill climb,” Logan coach Jason Davis said. “Those last second and overtime victories were heart stopping. I thought I would need a heart cath after those matches. At Logan we never do things the easy way. Going into the quarterfinals I told Daniel that we have no pressure on us, it’s on them. No one expects us to even be here, so everything from here on out is gravy.”
Davis said he’s happy for Browning and his entire team.
“I could not be prouder of Daniel and our entire team,” he said. “I feel the team, his family, and the enthusiasm of the Logan fans was a big part of Browning’s success. We live streamed his matches on Facebook and the quarterfinal match had over 350 people watching it live. I have coached Daniel since middle school and have not had a wrestler who was more confident in himself. I have often said when his physical strength catches up to his confidence he will be nearly unstoppable. He told me before we left, ‘Coach better get ready I am placing, my name is going up on that wall.’”
Browning said he was honored to place at state.
“It was great to be able to make it to states,” he said. “I showed up and wrestled my best and got fifth and it felt great to go out on a win.”
Browning finishes up on the season with a 28-6 record and a career mark of 49-15 in only his freshman and senior seasons competing in the sport.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.