The James River wrestlers went head-to-head with the big boys and finished a solid ninth in the Liberty Christian Academy tournament in Lynchburg last Saturday. River was one of just two Class 2 teams in the 24-team tournament and the other, Appomattox, was 10th.
River took 10 total wrestlers to the tournament and seven of them finished in the top eight. Carder Miller won the title at 195 pounds, running his record to 22-1 on the season. Carder had pins over wrestlers from Appomattox, Washington High of West Virginia and Rockbridge County, with the longest match lasting 3:37 in the final against Brice Hall of Rockbridge. Carder had a 35-second pin in the semifinal.
Chase Cuddy improved his record to 13-1 with a second place finish at 126. He had a 1:09 pin in the quarterfinal, then won 3-2 over Braden Henderson of Blacksburg in the semifinal before losing to Logan Robinson of Grassfield in the final. Grassfield won the team championship.
Other place winners for James River included Xaiden Wynn with a third at 106, Craig Bowyer with a fifth at 120, Hunter Forbes with sixth at 160, Brayden Forbes with a seventh at 113 and Dakota Gilliam was eighth in a strong heavyweight field.
“This was the first time James River has ever competed in the LCA Invitational and our team stepped up and competed well,” said coach Bobby Stewart. “Seven of 10 placements in a tough tournament like LCA is an accomplishment. No bracket had less than 16 competitors in it so a top eight finish is great for any wrestler.”
The Knights will travel to Bristol, Va. this weekend for the Ed Cressel Classic at Virginia High. The tournament will be Friday and Saturday.