The James River Knights wrestling team hosted the Knights Invitational Tournament on Saturday and finished third in a dual format. Alleghany won the tournament and Parry McCluer was the runner-up.
Floyd County and Covington also participated in the tournament, as River wrestled all five opponents and went 2-2. The Knights lost to Parry McCluer, 40-30, and Alleghany, 45-30, before rallying to beat Floyd, 59-15, and Covington, 57-9.
“Our performance as a team is getting better,” said coach Bobby Stewart. “Each week our records are getting better. I saw some of what I was looking for on the mats Saturday. I saw intensity and fight. The boys are developing that grit it takes to reach the next level.”
River went 38-18 in total combined matches. Heavyweight Levi Walker was one of two Knights to go undefeated on the day with a 5-0 record, pinning four opponents and winning one match by decision. Freshman Julian Plumb also went undefeated with a 3-0 record for the day at 160 pounds.
Seniors Jesse Carter and Tyler Meadows both went 3-1 on the day and junior Ian Hester went 4-1. Caleb Shipwash went 3-1 against some tough competition, freshman 152-pounder Addsion McCaleb secured a 3-1 record and freshman 120-pounder Mason Stewart went 4-1.
“I was most impressed with sophomore Caleb Shipwash,” said Stewart. “He had the best performance this past weekend. He was ‘in it to win it.’ He overcame obstacles on the mat with some minor injuries and prevailed with some important wins.
“Caleb is not the biggest 170-pounder that steps on the mat but I guarantee you he has the biggest heart of competition that steps on the mat. Just when you think he has given up some points he finds a way to overcome it, counter the move, and come out with the points and the win. He had pretty severe nose bleed Saturday and had to have his face wrapped to stop the bleeding, leaving him only to be able to breath through his mouth, which can be a uncomfortable and distracting. He struggled with it for a bit but stayed focused and secured a technical fall,” the coach said.
Thus far, Hester has River’s best overall record at 15-3, followed by Stewart at 16-4, Walker at 15-5 and Carter at 14-5.
The Knights are back in action this Saturday at the Cavalier Classic at Lord Botetourt High School, beginning at 9:30 a.m.