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Stonewall’s Bush finishes second in Class 1 state tournament

Stonewall Jackson's Dakota Bush, right, and Grundy's Michael McCowan battle for position during their Class 1, 285-pound state final match Saturday at the Salem Civic Center in Salem. McCown won the match with a pin. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily

SALEM — Dakota Bush’s dream of winning a state title fell short on Saturday, but he left the Salem Civic Center feeling good about his wrestling career.

The Stonewall Jackson senior lost in the Class 1 285-pound final for the second straight season, this time to Grundy’s Michael McCowan. Bush lost by pin to McCowan at the 3:58 mark.

Bush said that he felt like McCowan’s experience may have been the difference in the match.

“He’s a great heavyweight,” Bush said. “He’s got a lot more experience than me, I think. And he knows how to attack and defend heavyweights really good. And I think he’ll win next year, because he’;s only a junior. I think he’ll get first again.”

Stonewall Jackson coach Jerry Franklin said that Bush needed to be more aggressive against McCowan.

Dakota Bush

“He didn’t get aggressive enough,” Franklin said. “He had a good week, and he had a good career, he just needed to be more aggressive.”

Bush said that he was happy with the career that he had at Stonewall Jackson.

“I’m really proud of it,” Bush said. “I came a long way. And this final match I’m a little bit happier about, because I didn’t get screwed out of it. He’s just a lot better than me and he proved it.”

Stonewall Jackson finished 13th in the Class 1 state tournament. Stonewall Jackson had only five wrestlers in the meet.

Stonewall Jackson’s Lance Dorman (106) finished third and Udreka Claude (170) placed fifth.

Dorman won both of his matches Saturday in convincing fashion. The freshman beat Chilhowie’s Preston Miller, 9-3, in the consolation semifinals.

In the third-place match, Dorman pinned Rural Retreat’s Blake Battaglia in 1:33.

“Sometimes it feels better to win all the way back to third, than when you get an easy walk to the finals,” Dorman said. “I wanted to go to the finals, but my main goal was to place top five, and I’m happy with it.”

Dorman lost in overtime to Grundy’s Kaleb Horn in the semifinals, and said he was happy with how he wrestled in that match.

“We were going at it,” Dorman said. “We were beating heads, and it got to overtime. I took a bad shot — worse things couuld have happened freshman year.”

Claude lost by pin in Saturday’s consolation semifinals by Franklin’s Kemond Roger in 3:51.

The junior battled back to win the fifth-place match with a pin in 3 minutes over Mathews’ Jacob Dalton.

“I felt like I had to come back,” Claude said of his fifth-place match. “I’ve kind of been having off days the past two days.”

Claude said he didn’t advance to the second day of the tournament last year, so he was happy to finish in the top five this year.

“It feels good,” Claude said. “I know I’ll be able to do better (next year). I’ve got one more year.”

Stonewall Jackson’s Damian Tapia (126) went 0-2 on Friday and teammate Caleb Fauver (160) went 1-2.

Grundy won the Class 1 team state title with 248.5 points, followed by Rural Retreat (153.5) and Riverheads (136).

Franklin said he was proud of the way his team performed this year.

“I’m happy with the season, considering what we have,” Franklin said. “We ain’t got much. And with the quality and the experience that we have I think we did pretty well.”

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