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The best of 2011-2012: No woes grappling with success
Editor’s note: All this week, The Free Lance-Star is recapping the top five sports stories of the school year.
No. 5 story: The rise of Fredericksburg Christian’s basketball team.
No. 4 story: Colonial Forge’s wrestling team finishes back on top at the state tournament.
AS PAST SEASON DEMONSTRATED COLONIAL FORGE’S WRESTLING PROGRAM KEEPS GETTING BETTER
BY JUSTIN RICE
The Group AAA state wrestling tournament was more like a coronation than a competition.
Colonial Forge was that good.
With 11 participants in the field—three more than any other school—and five regional champions, the Eagles cruised to the school’s fourth state tournament team title.
Leading the way was senior 182-pounder David Reck, The Free Lance–Star’s wrestler of the year. The Air Force Academy recruit dominated his bracket, scoring first-period pins in his first three matches. He won a 19–7 major decision in the final to clinch his only high school state title.
Reck had lost in the finals the previous two years.
“I wasn’t smiling last year,” he said, after finishing 56–1 for the season and 168–24 in his high school career. “I’m smiling this year. I think everybody’s smiling.”
And there should have been lots of smiling Eagles.
Ten of Colonial Forge’s 11 wrestlers finished in the top eight of their weight classes. In addition to Reck, there were four third-place finishers, two fourths, two fifths and one seventh.
Senior Michael Hayes lost an overtime match in the championship semifinals, but rallied to place third.
He wanted the individual title, but getting Colonial Forge back on top at the state meet was also a sweet accomplishment. The Eagles won three straight titles from 2007–09, but had missed out the last two years.
“It means so much,” Hayes said. “That’s all we’ve been talking about all year, and that’s all coach has been preaching—we’re all working toward the same thing. We’re all working toward the team title.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045