Lord Botetourt took fourth and James River was eighth in the annual Highlander Invitational wrestling tournament at Glenvar High School last weekend. Grundy was the team winner in the tournament, which included a dozen schools.
LB’s finish was the fourth time this year the Cavaliers have finished fourth in a tournament.
“We stay at the top, we just need a few more points here and there to secure higher team placements,” said coach Chuck Burton. “We only wrestled with 10 starters in the lineup at the Highlander.”
LB had two champs, Luke Young at 160 and Jacob Brown at 170. Brown was also named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
Nick Young (106) and Hunter Sell (145) finished in third place and Josiah Grooten (138) and Spencer Shiflett (152) finished in fourth place. Hayden Martin (160) finished fourth as a B-Team entry.
For River, Levi Walker finished second place in the 220-pound weight division while Mason Stewart finished fourth place at 120 and Ian Hester finished fourth in the 126-pound division.
“We started the day off like a ball of fire, winning almost every match we wrestled,” said coach Bobby Stewart. “After the first round we were in fifth place and I was feeling real good and so was the team. When we moved up the line into the semi-final brackets it seemed like we fell apart and couldn’t win a match. So that humbled us real quick.”
River sustained an injury with 160-pound senior Tyler Meadows. He was taken down on a shoulder and possibly separated his AC joint.
“I am crossing my fingers this does not keep him out of the regional tournament in a few weeks,” said Stewart. “He is a big loss to our team if he cannot compete.”
River also wrestled a tri-match last week against Covington and Parry McCluer. Against Covington the Knights won eight of 12 matches and won by a score of 44-19. River then beat Parry McCluer, 36-33. Ian Hester won the last match of the night to put it away.
“We wrestled Parry McCluer once before and lost at our own invitational tournament over Christmas,” said Stewart. “I shifted weights around in that tournament trying to gain an advantage with some forfeit points and that backfired on me. So going in this time I committed to going head to head with them with what weights I had. I told my guys that we need to gut check and battle these guys with everything we have. We have not wrestled a team yet that is in as good of shape as we are and I knew that would help us and boy it did.
“Parry McCluer is six seniors deep and very skilled. I am overjoyed that we took that victory. Teams around are starting to talk about us. We are making some noise and people are paying attention.”
This Saturday the Knights will host the Three Rivers District tournament. Wrestling starts at 9:30 a.m.
“It would be a great day to go in Saturday and every kid be dialed in in front of our home crowd,” said Stewart.
LB wrestled in the Blue Ridge District duals last week at Northside. Botetourt went 0-4 in the matches, but Luke Young was named Blue Ridge District Wrestler of the Year.
“We were giving up 24 points in forfeits all night and teams took advantage of that,” said Burton. “I’m not too concerned about the results of the BRD duals. We aren’t much of a dual team when we face teams that have full teams. I don’t like to make excuses, because theoretically we still have enough fire power that we should be able to win duals.”