Skyline’s Grady, Robinson win wrestling titles at Millbrook

Jacob Grady’s performance at the Mayhem at Millbrook wrestling tournament on Saturday showed just how much the junior grappler has matured on the mat, said Skyline High School head coach Matt Keel.

Grady held a late lead over John Champe junior Nate Williams in their championship match for the 182-pound title, only to get slapped with a stalling penalty that tied the match with 10 seconds remaining in regulation and sent the two wrestlers into overtime. After neither earned the win in the sudden-victory round, Grady was hit with another stalling penalty while on top of Williams in the first 30-second tiebreaker round, which, compounded by a Williams escape, sent the Skyline junior into the second tiebreaker trailing by 2 points. Grady, Keel said, kept his cool.

With only 30 seconds to make up the deficit, Grady came through with 3 points to pick up an 8-7 victory and win the 182-pound championship.

“It was just like the chips were really stacked against him, and a younger version of Jacob would’ve really got upset and freaked out over it,” Keel said. “A lot of him winning was just keeping his composure. He did, he got an escape and then he hit a slide-by and got a takedown dragging his toes inbounds with like one and a half seconds left to win. It was very exciting.”

Grady, who also secured a pin in the semifinal round while trailing to reach the title bout and was voted by tournament officials as the Mayhem at Millbrook Most Outstanding Wrestler, was one of two Hawks to win individual championships at the 12-team tournament. Sophomore Morgan Robinson also claimed gold at 126 pounds to help lead Skyline to a runner-up finish, its best placing at the annual tournament.

The Hawks finished with 191.5 points, seven better than third-place North Stafford, but couldn’t keep pace with Class 6 foe Robinson High, which rolled to the team title with 278 points.

Robinson, who, like Grady, went 2-0 in pool play to start the tournament and 3-0 in the bracket competition, edged out Tuscarora sophomore Nathan Roberts, 3-2, in the championship finals to improve his season record to 30-4.

Robinson reached the finals with an 11-1 major decision victory over Robinson High’s Estaban Metiella.

“He’s really good on top and he actually, in semis, he won 11-1 with all leg attacks,” Keel said of Robinson. “And in finals he got an escape and a takedown. Instead of choosing top and riding a guy, they deferred to us, we chose bottom and got our escape in the first. And they chose neutral, (Roberts) didn’t want anything to do underneath us.

“We won with takedowns and escapes, which was pretty cool.”

In all, Skyline sent four wrestlers into the championship finals. Freshman Tyler Davis (31-4) fell to unbeaten Dominion sophomore Jack Creamer, 12-1, in the 106-pound championship bout, while Hawks sophomore Brandon Ahlemann lost the 113-pound title to Robinson High senior Aaron Howell, 13-3.

Ethan Gue finished third at 195 pounds for Skyline, while Talon Keel (145) and Anthony Domino (152) each placed fourth.

“I was hoping that we would have a chance at winning this thing. Robinson’s tough. They’re top 10 ranked in the state, they’re one of the better 6A teams,” Matt Keel said.

“We were back and forth until later when the real bonus points started adding up in the semis. They jumped out to 40 or 50 points ahead of us at the end of the day. We’re really young and we couldn’t keep up with that. But this is the best finish we’ve had here. We’ve got one senior in the lineup and it really is the best finish we’ve had as a team. It’s also the first time we’ve entered this tournament with all 14 weight classes, which helps tremendously. We don’t have any depth but we’ve got every weight class and we’ve got some good guys there.”

Sherando, which finished sixth as a team, sent two into the championship finals but saw both get pinned by Robinson High wrestlers. Warriors junior Timmy Dieter was pinned in 47 seconds by Nik Gerard, and senior Zack Kales was pinned by Thomas Mukai in 1:27.

Gavin Eanes (120 pounds) and Tucker Anderson (160) each finished third for Sherando.