By Dennis Atwood - email@example.com
FRONT ROYAL - Warren County hosted Stonewall Jackson, Broadway, George Mason, and Monticello for a duals wrestling meet on Saturday.
The event provided 6 1/2 hours of intense applied kinesiology and was an endurance test for the participants, being the first match of the season for many of them.
Warren County swept the event, topping Stonewall Jackson 51-21, Monticello 67-12, Broadway 42-36, and George Mason 60-15.
Broadway finished 3-1, George Mason 2-2, Stonewall Jackson 1-3, and Monticello 0-4.
Five Wildcat wrestlers won all four of their matches -- Kyle Pannell (103), Joey Souza (112), Sam Fiel (140), David Raudenbush (152), and Ryan Molka (160).
"We were really looking forward to the Loudoun County Duals [canceled Dec. 5 due to weather]. So we were pumped and worked real hard in practice, looking to go 4-0 today," Fiel said. "Everything [about technique] worked well for me today, but I'd like to work on my shot a little bit, and I got sick during the day."
The Stonewall Jackson-George Mason matchup was the tightest contest of the day.
The match ended in a 36-36 tie. Each team had won five individual events. With referees and coaches conferring at the scorers' table, they proceeded down the tie-breaker list in the rule book. They reached rule "H," the eighth tie-breaker -- greatest number of first points scored. George Mason won that, 8-3, and was awarded an additional match point, for a 37-36 win.
The Generals also battled tough against the Gobblers, with Broadway winning 44-34.
Stonewall Jackson finished strong, with seven pins in the 10 matches against Monticello, earned by Bobby Wilkerson (103), Jerry Kruger (130), Jonathan Martin (135), Brandon Dinges (152), Woddie Kerlin (171), Rick Tisinger (189) and Steven Salinas (215) for a 54-27 victory.
Kruger won all four of his events on the day for the Generals. Speaking of his approach to success, "I practice hard, don't give up, and keep a positive attitude," Kruger said.
"We have a lot of work to do," Generals head coach Jerry Franklin said. "This was our first match of the year, getting all the butterflies out. The guys still need to pick up some more of their conditioning."
Broadway opened against the Wildcats with pins by Preston Funk in heavyweight and Robbie Wine (189), and proceeded to give Warren County its toughest competition of the day.
In the 145-pound event, Gobbler Jordan Spitzer pinned Robert Canby in the second period to even the score at 30-30.
The Wildcats then scored pins by Raudenbush (152), and Molka (160), to take a 42-30 lead, and the Gobblers' Gabe Kreider (171) pinned Stuart Eshelman with 30 seconds remaining for a 42-36 final score.
"Preston [Funk] only had five losses all last year, and he's coming back from an injury he had in regionals," Gobblers head coach Nate Bradley said. "He's dropping from heavyweight to 215.
"We try to use the same conditioning routine for the big guys as for the lighter weights. If the little guys can do the timing drills then you guys should be doing it too. We try to push them just as hard and tell them, 'just because you're bigger doesn't mean you can't be just as quick and athletic.'"
Warren County carries a large roster, with 37 wrestlers, testifying to the program's popularity.
"[Broadway] is a really good team down in Region III, and we always want to invite them up because we'll see them there," Wildcats head coach Matt Wadas said. "And they always have tough, tough kids every year. We love to have them here.
"[Wrestling's] a tradition that's been here a while, even before I got here. It was passed on to me that wrestling was one of the more successful things in our school and with the kids it's exciting to get them out in all the sports. It's a great thing."