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NW Region Wrestling Meet: Eagles’ top 11 rev up for push to state crown
BY JUSTIN RICE
MONTCLAIR—Colonial Forge wrestling coach Bill Swink hoped for 13, but he’ll settle for 11.
That’s 11 wrestlers who will carry the Eagles’ state championship hopes to Robinson High School next Friday, in search of Forge’s fourth state team title and first since 2009.
On Saturday, the Eagles collected their 11th straight Northwest Region title, a conclusion that was inevitable when Friday’s first day of wrestling was complete. Forge had five individual champions, three runners-up, two thirds and a fourth.
“We hoped to get all 13 in there,” Swink said. “But we’ll take what we can get.”
Winning individual titles for Colonial Forge were Connor Mairena (120), Michael Hayes (126), Zach Martinez (170) and David Reck.
Orange’s Sean Raftery won his school’s first Northwest Region title at 160, finishing a double-leg takedown on Hylton’s Mark Darr in overtime to win, 7–5. Raftery had tied the match at the end of regulation when Darr was penalized for stalling.
Stafford was fifth, the highest Commonwealth District finisher after the Eagles. Indians senior Logan Jackson beat Colonial Forge’s Mark Garrity, 6–0, in the 195-pound final.
Mountain View also had an individual winner—freshman Josue Beltran upset Jeff Stone in the 113-pound championship. Stone had beaten Beltran, 6–2, in last Saturday’s district final.
Colonial Forge’s two third-place and one fourth-place finishers Saturday may prove nearly as important next weekend as their host of top-two’s. Winning a state tournament team title takes numbers, and with wrestlers in 11 of 14 weight classes, the Eagles know they’ve got a shot.
“The district tournament is a vehicle to get to the region, and the region tournament is a vehicle to get to the state,” Swink said. “And after you’re there, anything can happen.
“That’s what we try to get them focused on, so if they lose a match they think they can win, they still know they can get there, and turn that negative into a positive.”
Eagles 220-pounder Quinton Winters suffered a tough overtime loss in Friday’s second round. But he won four consolation-bracket matches Saturday—including a 3–0 win over Riverbend’s Steven Sarver in the third-place final—to advance to the state tournament.
Gary Woods was fourth at 138, and Bryce Gentry third at 106. Woods, Gentry and Winters will all have a chance to bolster Forge’s team score next weekend.
“It was really tough [after losing Friday],” Winters said. “But I had to place third or fourth so I can score team points and we can get that state championship.
“Everybody knows their part. We try to group together and cheer each other on so as many people as possible can move on. It’s very important to get those big numbers [at the state tournament].”
Hayes, Colonial Forge’s 126-pound senior, won his third Northwest Region title with an 18–7 major decision over North Stafford’s Dylan Thompson.
Hayes will be one of the Eagles’ top contenders for an individual championship next week, but he agreed it’s going to take a large group of points scorers to win a team title.
“It takes all 14 guys,” Hayes said. “Those types of kids who sneak in, in third or fourth, those kids can create a lot of points. That can upset kids. They don’t have a target on their back. There’s no pressure. Just get to the next week—that’s what it’s all about.”
TEAM SCORES: 1. Colonial Forge 276.5; 2. Forest Park 166.5; 3. Franklin County 158.5 ; 4. Osbourn Park 137; 5. Stafford 105; 7. Orange 88; 8. Mountain View 77.5; 15. North Stafford 36; 17. Riverbend 33; 18. Brooke Point 29; 25. Massaponax 2.
106: Sean Badua (OP) d. Tommy Aloi (FP) 8–6; 3. Bryce Gentry (CF); 4. Jonny Lopez (MV).
113: Josue Beltran (MV) d. Jeff Stone (CF) 4–0; 3. Ryan Bearon (St) 4. Luis Aceves (OP).
120: Connor Mairena (CF) d. Skyler Trumpower (FP) 4–2; 3. Angel Rios (BR); 4. Telvis Betts (GW)
126: Michael Hayes (CF) d. Dylan Thompson (NS) 18–7; 3. Jack Applegate (FP); 4. Jared Mills (FC).
132: Dennis Gustafson (FP) maj. dec. Tony Neis (CF) 11–2; 3. Tarkan Martin (BR); 4. Nathan Tabelon (Os).
138: Kyle Hollcroft (Os) maj. dec. Marcus Brown (St) 9–0; 3. Emmitt Kelly (Fr-PW); 4. Gary Woods (CF).
145: Sean Murphy (CF) p. Justus Weaver (Bf) 3:19; 3. Christian Garcia (Os); 4. Drew Brock (FC).
152: Kevin Johnson (FP) d. Ryan Almond (Or) 3–0; 3. Justin Altice (FC); 4. Alex Gowers (OP).
160: Sean Raftery (Or) d. Mark Darr (Hy) 7–5; 3. Bill Ramsey (BP); 4. Tony Campos (OP) 5-4.
170: Zach Martinez (CF) d. Anthony Olsen (Pa) 5–0; 3. Alex Thomas (Bf); 4. Steven Wittenberg (OP).
182: David Reck (CF) maj. dec. Tyler Young (Fr–LC) 16–4; 3. Jon Altice (FC); 4. Hayden Mosher (FP).
195: Logan Jackson (St) d. Mark Garrity (CF) 6–0; 3. Brandon Frazier (MV); 4. Otari Somkhishvili (OP).
220: Mason Maples (FC) d. Thomas DeLeon (SJ) 3–2; 3. Quinton Winters (CF); 4 Steven Sarver (Rb).
285: DaQuante Timbers (Fr–LC) maj. dec. James Vawter (FP) 15–6; 3. Billy Knabe (Or); 4. Shaun Greer (FC).
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045