Parrett finishes stellar wrestling career just short of the top

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Senior wrestler Josh Parrett pins one of his opponents in the state tournament.

By Jake Shook, Sports Editor

It’s simply put as “State.” The ultimate goal of every high school student athlete.

The State championships for Division I Wrestling started on Feb. 27, 2014, and Fairmont High School seniors Josh Parrett (126), Colin Del Valle (120) and Vinny Long (195) were in Columbus competing at the Schottenstein Center.

“We had three wrestlers at state in arguably the best wrestling state in the country,” said proud Wrestling Head Coach Frank Baxter.

Although Baxter was certainly pleased by his wrestlers’ accomplishments, he expects these results year after year. “Recently, this success has been our standard,” he said.

And he’s right. Fairmont has had at least one wrestler in the State finals for the past four years. That wrestler is senior Josh Parrett.

Parrett is the first four-time state qualifier in Fairmont’s history. He made it to the podium in 2013 with a 7th place finish. This year, Parrott almost stood atop the podium, but he finished as State Runner-up, falling to David Bavery of Massillon Perry High School 3-1 in an overtime decision.

“I wrestled the best I could and came up a little short,” said Parrett. “I can live with the results and accept them, but I’ll always have regrets. I feel like a wrestled a 9.9 on a scale of 10.”

Del Valle and Long were defeated in the first round of State competition, but Coach Baxter says neither wrestler has reason to hang his head.

“As a freshman, Colin was 6-22,” said Baxter. “As a senior, he finishes 34-8 as one of the 16 best in the state. It’s a tremendous accomplishment due to his hard work and dedication. I couldn’t be more proud of this young man.”

And as for Long, Baxter again highlighted his wrestler’s accomplishments. “Despite many obstacles, Vinny achieved state qualification, which is an outstanding accomplishment,” said Baxter.

But few wrestlers have made as much of a mark on Fairmont athletics as Parrett. This athlete has maintained the excellence that is Fairmont’s wrestling program through four years of dominance on the mat. Parrett will go down in Fairmont history as one of the greatest in his sport, providing an example for wrestlers to come and continuing the dynasty that other athletes, like Firebird legend Tommy Kimbrell, started.

“Very few wrestlers can say that they have no regrets. But I’m pleased with my career,” said Parrett.

Coach Baxter will find it hard to let go of this senior class of wrestlers, especially the stand-out Parrett. “Realistically, we’ve possibly just witnessed the greatest wrestling career in Fairmont history,” said Baxter.