The wrestlers from Lord Botetourt and James River are in the midst of a busy schedule as they prepare to break for Christmas. Both teams were in a tournament at Hidden Valley High School last weekend and will be back on the mats this weekend for the Big Orange in Vinton. In addition, River is at Salem tonight for a tri-match.
There were 26 teams participating in the Titan Toughman tournament at Hidden Valley last Friday and Saturday with Glenvar coming out on top. Lord Botetourt finished a solid fourth while James River was 14th, the second best finish by a Class 2 school after Glenvar.
“Overall we accomplished some goals this weekend,” said LB coach Chuck Burton. “We got some mat time in against quality opponents, learned what we should and shouldn’t do in a match, and know what we need to work on moving forward. That’s what you look for in early season tournaments. We know what we need to do now to get better.”
LB had a tournament champion in TJ Piluso at 165. He improved to 7-0 with a 3:21 pin over Ryan Ankrum of Blacksburg in the final.
The Cavaliers had two runner-up finishes, Camden Saunder at 132 and Dalton Oxley at 215. Cooper Roberts was fifth at 157 and Ty Hensley came in sixth at 175.
“I’m very proud of our finalists and the way they navigated the brackets in their weight classes as well as our other two placers,” said Burton. “TJ had a great tournament and I’m very pleased with where he’s at currently.”
James River opened the championship round with two tournament wins as Xaiden Wynn won the 106-pound bracket and Brayden Forbes won at 113.
Wynn defeated Emmanuel Mendio with a 12-0 major decision to win the bracket and improve to 10-0 on the season. Forbes pinned Jaxon Ward of George Wythe in the second period to win the 113 bracket and move to 11-1 on the season. Also placing was Nate Stewart at 120 pounds, taking fifth place with a consolation win over Ryan Maxwell of Rockbridge. Nate is now 11-4.
“We had an excellent and also opening experience at the same time this weekend,” said River coach Bobby Stewart. “I’m super stoked for Xaiden and Brayden earning their championships. The first ever Titan Toughman champions is a big win for James River and myself and the coaching staff. Xaiden and Brayden both dominated the finals match; heck, the whole tournament for that matter. More great things are coming for those two.”
River is back on the mats tonight to take on Northside and Salem. The Knights will wrestle Northside at 6 p.m. then take on Salem in the second match before Salem and Northside finish.
This weekend both River and LB will be participating in the Big Orange Classic at William Byrd. This year’s tournament will be just one day, on Saturday, and it’s in the William Byrd Middle School gym as construction continues at the high school. There will be 18 teams competing beginning at 9 a.m.