(photo by Mike Mathison, sports editor, Weirton Daily Times)
My son, Derrick Rovira, never seizes to impress me. It does break my heart that I'm not able to attend every football game or every wrestling match, and even see who he takes to the high school dances. But he knows I'm always cheering for him, even if it is all the way out here in California. But last weekend, my boy finally made the headlines...despite the fact that he only took 3rd at his latest wrestling tournament, he did have the opportunity to wrestle the best in the Ohio Valley.
Article from the Weirton Daily Times, written by sports editor, Mike Mathison:
WHEELING — Weir High’s Derrick Rovira is the No. 1 seeded wrestler in the state of West Virginia at 215 pounds. But, in last weekend’s Ron Mauck Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Championship, Rovira was the No. 5 seed in the same weight class. “I was actually kind of happy,” Rovira said of his OVAC seeding. “Coach (Ray Pernell) put me in a good spot.” Rovira ripped through his first three opponents, pinning Cambridge’s Keith Doty in 21 seconds, Edison’s Brandon Bradley in 1:17 and earning a 11-6 decision over John Marshall’s Sam Gilmore, the No. 4 seed. He then had to take on No. 1 seed and friend Branko Busick in the semifinals. “It didn’t really matter to me when I wrestled Branko,” said Rovira. “I might as well wrestle the best early. It wasn’t tough wrestling Branko. I just kind of forgot we were friends. “This is really good competition to get ready for regionals and states.” Busick won, 16-5, and then beat St. Clairsville’s Levi Holcomb for the title. Rovira moved onto the third place match against Monroe Central’s Schuyler Bondy, the No. 2 seed. He pinned Bondy in 4:21. “I thought we were in pretty good position as the fifth seed,” Pernell said. “I knew if we did well we would face Branko in the semifinals. But, you can only get better when you wrestle the best. “Branko is one of the top wrestlers. “It paid off because Derrick came back through the losers bracket and finished third.” Rovira pinned No. 8 seeded Dave Vaughn of Shadyside in the consolation semifinals in 2:59. He finished 4-1 in the tournament with three victories by fall. That’s pretty impressive stuff for a guy who has been wrestling at the high school level for the last two years. Rovira finished third a year ago at the state tournament. He dropped a 5-4 decision to Point Pleasant’s Casey Hogg in the quarterfinals and fought his way back to beat St. Marys’ C.D. Cox 11-8 for third place. Currently, Hogg is ranked No. 3 at 285 and Cox No. 4 at 189. The Red Riders senior is 25-2 four weeks before the regional tournament Feb. 20-21 at Tyler Consolidated High School. “Derrick’s confidence should be up there, but we have to forget about this next week and get back to work,” said Pernell. “Last year at this time is when he started to improve. “Hopefully we can keep it going. “As long as my assistant (son Justin Pernell) keeps pounding on him, keeps working him, making him run and working hard, he’ll improve. And, he’ll do that. “I feel this is the tournament for kids to see how they are doing. If you place here, you are doing well. For him being two years in and to finish third is great (Rovira went 2-2 at the 2008 OVAC and did not place). “He works hard. “If we continue to work hard, trying to improve each day we’ll be OK. If we are happy with what we did here, we’ll be in trouble. “But, he won’t be that way. He’ll keep working.” (Mathison can be contacted at email@example.com)
Very very proud of you Derrick!!!