PARKERSBURG — The 21st and 22nd four-time prep wrestling state champions in West Virginia history — Parkersburg South’s Gavin Quiocho and East Fairmont’s Blake Boyers — were runaway selections for the top two spots in the 37th annual Robert Dutton Award voting.
However, for the fourth consecutive season, it was a Patriot who was honored as the state’s top wrestler.
“I never thought about it, honestly,” admitted Quiocho, who won Class AAA crowns at 160 this year and previously at 145 (2020), 138 (2019) and 132 (2018) en route to a career 143-30 record that included 86 pins. “It’s always something I’m working toward to improve myself and that stuff comes along with it.”
Quiocho will wrestle for Glenville State College head coach Dylan Cottrell, a four-time state champ himself who won the 2012 Dutton Award following his senior year at Roane County.
Quiocho’s win marks the seventh time a Parkersburg South wrestler has won the Dutton Award. Braxton Amos became the first two-time honoree last year. PSHS also has celebrated Josh Humphreys (2018), Chad Porter (2006), Jason Johnson (1998) and the inaugural Dutton Award winner Dave Miller (1985).
“It was pretty cool knowing that Braxton and Josh were the ones winning in the past three years and I get to be a part of that,” Quiocho said. “It’s awesome to feel. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Parkersburg South head coach Shaun Smith, who was recently honored with the Van Meter Award as the state’s top coach, knows Quiocho has plenty of quality wrestling left in him.
“With Gavin’s track record in middle school there was always a thought prior to him coming into our room that there was a good chance he had the potential and makeup of being a four-time state champion,” Smith said. “He’s been a hard worker, always has been, but there’s also some luck that comes into play. But the harder you work the luckier you get. He had to work to get in the lineup as a freshman.
“He could’ve gone 132 to 145 and we had tough kids in that area already. He had to work for that spot. I think that was a big difference-maker as well. He has the personality, just a good person to be around and all-around great kid. You hate to see someone like that graduate. What’s cool about him, as hard as he works and as good as he wants himself to be, he’s a great teammate and he’ll do whatever he can to help his teammates improve as well. Very rare in a student-athlete.”
Boyers capped a 16-0 campaign for the Bees by winning the Class AA-A 138-pound crown. Boyers, who went 133-18 overall, also won titles at 126 in 2020, 113 in 2019 and at 106 in 2018.
Quiocho will be presented his trophy at the 74th annual Victory Awards Dinner, which will take place on May 23 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
The Robert Dutton Award is sponsored by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and is voted upon by a statewide panel. It’s named in honor of legendary Parkersburg High School mat coach Robert Dutton, who guided the Big Reds from 1957-76 and is a charter member of the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.