Warriors finish perfect in Skyline quad meet
FRONT ROYAL — Sherando wrestling coach Pepper Martin had to make some last-minute additions to his lineup before Wednesday’s quad match at Skyline High School.
Freshman Tucker Anderson, who typically wrestles at 138 pounds, got thrown into the mix as the Warriors’ 145-pounder on Wednesday, and sophomore Caleb Cornwell stepped in as a late addition at 182 pounds for Sherando. Anderson and Cornwell each went 1-1 on the mat, and six Warriors went unbeaten in non-forfeit bouts as Sherando finished 2-0 against a field that also included Northwestern District rivals Skyline and Millbrook, as well as Mount Vernon.
Sherando and Millbrook did not wrestle head-to-head, and the Pioneers also finished with a 2-0 record. Skyline went 1-2 with its lone victory coming against Mount Vernon.
“We got hit suddenly with injuries and illness. Not making any excuses because we had some backups ready to step up and help the team out, but we had to do some scrambling today,” Martin said. “… We had to scramble a little bit to get some kids in there but we had a freshman and sophomore step up and wrestle really hard for us.
“They really contributed and our best wrestlers continued to go out there and get the job done for us.”
Mike Duffy (120 pounds), Curtis Guthridge (126), Justin Feighery (132), Colton Simmons (138), Tim Coleman (160) and John Borst (170) all finished 2-0 for Sherando in the match. The Warriors beat Mount Vernon 57-19 in the first round of action before topping Skyline 57-24.
Sherando’s night began with Cornwell’s loss via fall in the 182-pound match against Mount Vernon’s Ryan Dobson, but the Warriors gained an 18-12 advantage following four consecutive forfeits. Sherando then reeled off five straight wins — including four via pin — to gain a sizable 45-12 lead over the Majors.
Borst, who qualified for the Group 4A state tournament last season as a freshman, capped the Warriors’ opening-round win with a first-round pin in the 170-pound bout, Sherando’s sixth fall of the match.
Borst was one of four Warriors to record two pins on Wednesday, joined by Guthridge, Simmons and Coleman.
“I’ve been working hard the whole entire time just trying to get those first-round pins,” said Borst, who wrestled at 152 pounds last season. “If it comes down to it I’ll go for points but right now it’s racking up pins on everyone, get six points on the board.”
Sherando had similar success in the second round of competition against Skyline, as the Warriors notched eight pin-fall victories in the 57-24 win.
The Warriors took a 12-6 lead after three matches following Ben Avery’s pin against Hawks senior Gerren Butler in the heavyweight match, but the Hawks responded to take an 18-12 lead following senior Justin Cornwell’s pin-fall victory over Anthony Damico in the 113-pound bout.
Sherando notched pins in three of the next four matches before a fall by Skyline’s Caleb VanDoren cut the Warriors’ lead to 33-24. Sherando then closed the match with four straight pins to close out its day.
“I thought we wrestled particularly well on our feet tonight. I really do,” Martin said. “… We’ve been drilling hard to get better every day. Tonight we probably had 80 percent of our takedowns. If you’re successful on your feet, it lends itself to success on the mat.”
Skyline, which was wrestling without seniors and 2014 state qualifiers Noah Goss and Josiah Huston due to injury on Wednesday, struggled on the mat against its two Northwestern District foes.
The Hawks lost a tight match in the opening round to Millbrook, as Skyline fell 40-36. Pins by Justin Cornwell, Bryan Boswell, VanDoren, Isaiah Washington and Ronnie Clifton had the Hawks in position to beat the Pioneers, but Millbrook freshman Xever Lemieux pinned Skyline sophomore Asher Ammons — one of five JV call-ups to wrestle for the Hawks on Wednesday — in the final bout at 170 pounds to give the Pioneers the win.
“This is tough because this isn’t our team. This isn’t our full lineup,” Hawks head coach Matt Keel said. “We wrestled tonight without five returning, winning varsity wrestlers. Two were out before the season even started. Another one quit after a week, and then two are injured sitting here. So we’re climbing the ladder. What we’re looking for our kids to do is get one percent better every day.
“We’re bringing kids up and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got a lot of first-year kids in the lineup.”
Skyline closed out the night with a 51-28 win over Mount Vernon, as the Hawks got pins from Justin Cornwell, Anthony Robledo (126), Tyrelle Robinson (138), Luke Naccash (160) and Washington (182) in the match.
Justin Cornwell was the only Hawk to finish perfect on Wednesday, as he recorded all three victories via pin.
“I was doing what I usually do,” Justin Cornwell said. “I was doing the moves that I usually do all the time. I drill the same move over and over and over, and practice that move.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org