The James River wrestlers will be competing in the “Highlander Invitational” at Glenvar High School on Saturday.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. and the finals will begin at around 4 p.m.

Glenvar has a 12-team field for the double elimination tournament and some good competition will be on hand. In addition to the Knights and host Glenvar, teams included are Chatham, Rural Retreat, Grayson County, Covington, Parry McCluer, Graham, Salem, Wilson Memorial, Randolph Henry and Holston.

Last week at River the Knights took on Glenvar, Covington, Floyd and Alleghany.

“It was a pretty good night with most of the guys getting close to at least two matches, if not three,” said coach Tim Jennings. “I thought we did okay– we have already wrestled everyone but Floyd, so it was good to see them since they are in our region. I thought we were aggressive and came out wrestling offensively. Some of our kids had some tough matches, but overall it was a good night.”

That wasn’t the case last weekend at Rural Retreat, as Jennings was disappointed with River’s showing.

“Rural Retreat was not as good of an outing, but the competition was a little more stout, too,” he said. “We did pretty good in the earlier rounds, but the late afternoon bit us. We had five kids wrestling in the consolation semi-finals to advance to the third and fourth place match and we only advanced one.”

Ian Hester moved on. He matched up with a Glenvar opponent in the next round and lost.

Travis Sisson made it to the finals and had to wrestle the 220 from Rural Retreat.

“We weren’t as offensive as we should have been, and again, it did not go our way,” said Jennings. “It was a close match, but I tell the team all the time, you have to put yourself in a position to be in those close matches, and then put yourself in a position to win them.  We were there, but just couldn’t finish. Rural Retreat is a tough place to wrestle as of late. They are the three-time defending state champions in single-A, and they are solid across the board. It was an awesome environment– you either rise to the occasion, or you let the surroundings and the other side get the best of you. I don’t think we rose to the occasion very well.”

Jennings is hoping the Knights bounce back this week. They’re at Wilson Memorial tonight before moving on to Glenvar Saturday.

“We’ll see some of the same kids this weekend as we saw last,” he said. “If our heads are not on straight, and if we don’t come out of the gate ready to attack the other guy, I’m afraid it could be another long day.”

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