Lord Botetourt’s wrestlers finished in fourth place in the Region 3D wrestling tournament in Christiansburg last Saturday. Host Christiansburg was the team winner.
LB scored 153.5 points in the tournament as the Blue Demons dominated with 223. William Byrd was second with 194.5, followed by Northside with 165 and then LB.
Two Cavaliers won region championships, Conner Shiflett at 160 and Noah Shephard at 195. Nick Young, at 145, and Sam Francis, at 170, both finished second to also advance to the state tournament at the Salem Civic Center on February 18.
Shiflett is 8-1 after winning the region. After a first round bye he pinned Mac Simmons of William Byrd in the semifinal in 1:41, then pinned Kyle Keister of Christiansburg in the championship match in 2:10.
Shephard is also 8-1. After a bye he beat Bowman Altizer of Christiansburg with a 55-second pin in the semis, then pinned Cole Pritchard of Cave Spring in the championship match in 4:07.
Young lost in overtime in his championship match and Francis dropped an 8-4 decision to Jacob Baier of Christiansburg in the 170-pound final. Cody Williams (113), Trey Saunders (120) and Xavier Williams (220) all finished third and are alternates. Brogan Shutts was fourth at 132 and that would have qualified for state in a normal year, but due to the pandemic only the top two from the region advance this season.
“Overall, I was pleased with our efforts,” said coach Chuck Burton. “With so little time to prepare, and some of these kids not having wrestled since last January or February, I think they did well. We only entered 10 wrestlers in the event and eight of those 10 placed in the top 4. So there’s something to be said about it.
“I talked to the team on Friday going in to the tournament about their mindset,” Burton continued. “We talked about having an attitude of gratitude. We talked about how being given the opportunity to compete was a blessing that we didn’t think was gonna happen in December. Dr. Russ came through for us and all of our student-athletes in the county and gave them an opportunity to prove his decision was the right thing to do. We talked about having gratitude and being thankful for our opportunity to go out and compete and take the pressure off of themselves.”