Sherando’s Dieter places third at Class 4 state wrestling tournament

Sherando's Timmy Dieter controls Eastern View's Austin Kolikas during their consolation finals match at 132 pounds at the VHSL Class 4 state wrestling tournament on Saturday at Churchland High School in Portsmouth. Dieter won the match, 9-4. Brad Fauber/Daily

PORTSMOUTH – Sherando High School junior 132-pounder Timmy Dieter had aspirations of winning his first state title at the Virginia High School League Class 4 State Championships this past weekend. A tough quarterfinal matchup with Powhatan senior and multi-state champ Collin Gerardi ended those hopes early on Friday afternoon, but Dieter made it a point to finish strong.

The Sherando junior bounced back from his loss to Girardi – whom Warriors head coach Pepper Martin called possibly the best pound-for-pound wrestler at this year’s state tournament – to win his final four matches over the two-day event to finish in third place.

“His goal was to be a state champion this year,” Martin said of Dieter, “and to have your hopes dashed that early in the tournament, he very well could’ve cashed it in and he persevered. He got over the disappointment of that loss and then he recollected himself and beat a number of quality wrestlers to climb all the way back and finish third. We’re really proud of the way he wrestled, to be able to come back going down into that consolation bracket early.”

Following his loss by pin to Gerardi – who went on to win his fourth state title – Dieter won his first two matches in the consolation round on Friday evening and reached the third-place match with a 9-4 decision over Deep Creek’s Trevor Merrell on Saturday morning.

Dieter ended his tournament run with a 9-4 decision over Eastern View’s Austin Kolikas in the consolation finals. Dieter broke a 2-2 tie with a reversal in the second period and, after taking a 4-2 lead into the final frame, pulled away with 5 points in the third.

Timmy Dieter

“He just gave out a burst of energy in the first period,” Dieter said of Kolikas, “and I felt like if I just weathered the storm a little bit I could get to my attacks and score those last two periods.”

The third-place finish was the second straight all-state performance for Dieter, who placed fourth at 120 pounds last season.

“I’d much rather have gotten first but third’s better than I did last year, so I can’t really complain,” said Dieter, who finished the season 50-8.

Sherando senior 220-pounder Zack Kales also earned an all-state medal on Saturday, his first, after claiming the sixth and final spot on the podium.

Like Dieter, Kales rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to Kings Fork’s Dennis Whitehead – the eventual state champ – with two consolation-round victories on Friday. Kales fell 3-1 in sudden-victory overtime to Fauquier’s Tyler Raymond – who also beat Kales in the Northwestern District and Region 4C tournament finals – on Saturday morning and lost an 11-2 major decision to Eastern View’s Kyle Jenkins in the fifth-place match.

Martin said Kales’ ability to land an all-state spot his senior season after failing to place in his first state tournament last year was the result of hard work and determination.

“We’re very proud of him and trust me, he came a long way,” Martin said of Kales. “When he was a freshman, he was an upperweight kid and he was forced into our lineup … and he didn’t experience very much success at all. But he kept in the sport, he plugged away at it and he got better and better every year. We’re really proud of Zack for not only his vast improvement over the years but also the leadership that he provided the younger wrestlers the last two seasons.”

Three other Sherando wrestlers – freshman Heath Rudolph (126 pounds) and seniors Tucker Anderson (160) and Zach McCarty (182) – failed to place in the state tournament, but each picked up one win before being eliminated on Friday. It was the first state tournament appearance for all three wrestlers.

“Every wrestler we brought down here experienced the state tournament by being successful and winning at least one match. I take a lot away from that,” Martin said.

“We were really pleased, the coaching staff, that all of them experienced some success.”

Eastern View (189.5 points) won the Class 4 team title, Fauquier (173) finished second and Liberty (Bealeton) was third.