Lord Botetourt junior TJ Piluso made the state finals and finished in second place in the Class 3 wrestling tournament at the Salem Civic Center last weekend. The Cavaliers finished 11th as a team among over 50 schools who compete in Class 3. Staunton River, a fellow member of the Blue Ridge District, won the Class 3 championship.
Piluso made the finals at 165 pounds. He won decisions over Bobby Asche of Tabb, Jackson Wells of Broadway and Sebastian Gabarrette of Culpeper to make the championship round, then fell to Macon Ayers of Staunton River in the final, 8-2. TJ finished with a 36-3 record on the season.
“TJ put together a great tournament and made the finals where he wrestled a great match, but just came up short,” said LB coach Chuck Burton. “Still, a 36-3 record as a junior is a great accomplishment. I’m sure he will put in the work and come back hungry next season.”
Two seniors also made the medal stand. Andrew Gilbert was fourth at 190 and finished 25-10 on the season. Dalton Oxley was fifth at 215 and finished 30-9.
“Both kids had to string together multiple wins on Friday to get to that spot and they were able to finish on the podium,” said Burton. “Really happy for both of those guys to finish their season there.”
Seniors Trey Saunders and Xavier Williams put up strong efforts, but came up short of reaching the podium. The tournament ended another outstanding year of wrestling for the Lord Botetourt team.
“We had a great season on the mats,” said Burton. “Big Orange champs for a second year in a row and Regional runner-up finish for a second year in a row. I think it’s safe to say Lord Botetourt is on the map and a name that comes up when talking about wrestling in the area.
“That was my goal when I took over 10 years ago and the goal has been accomplished.”