FRONT ROYAL — Cross-town rivals Skyline and Warren County battled it out all day in the team competition for the Region 3B Wrestling Championships held at Skyline. It was only fitting that one of the best matches of the day pitted the two schools against each other.
Trailing late in his 138-pound final, Warren County’s Hunter Jost pulled off a big move to rally for a 7-6 victory over Skyline’s Morgan Robinson.
“I’ve hit a really hard kid every tournament this year,” Jost said. “This is my first tournament I’ve won this season. All of my loses have literally been in finals at tournaments. So it was a whole lot of fun. It’s great to stand in the top place (on the podium).”
Jost and teammate Patrick Coffron (160 pounds) each won regional titles as Warren County finished in third place as a team. Skyline’s Tyler Davis (113), Brandon Ahlemann (126), Anthony Domino (145) and Ethan Gue (220) all won regional titles to lead the Hawks to a second-place finish.
Jost trailed Robinson, whom he had beaten twice during the regular season, 5-1, early in the third period. With only 50 seconds left and still trailing, 5-2, Jost used a move called the cement roll to turn things around and eventually take a 7-6 victory.
As soon as he won, Jost pointed to Warren County assistant coach Chad Billy. It was Billy who told Jost in practice last week that he might have to use the move at some point over the next two weeks if he was trailing.
“He said you might be down, you’re going to have to go big,” Jost said of Billy’s advice last week. “He said that move will work every time. And I was like you know what 5-2 (down), nothing really bad can happen. It’s either going to be 7-2 I lose or I go big and I win.”
It was Jost’s first-ever regional title.
In the very next final, Skyline exacted a little bit of revenge. Skyline’s Anthony Domino beat previously undefeated Warren County senior Bobby Hunger 9-4 in the 145-pound final.
The two hadn’t met this season as Domino had been wrestling at 152 pounds. He said being used to wrestling heavier wrestlers may have helped him as he recently dropped down in weight class for the postseason.
Domino built a quick 4-0 lead and held on for his first-ever regional crown.
“I had a gameplan going into the match of just push the pace, get takedowns as many as I can to open things up,” Domino said. “And I should be looking at a ‘W.’”
Domino said after seeing Robinson’s match against Jost, he wanted to make sure he finished the match off. He said the win was a little sweeter coming against rival Warren County.
“I felt for Morgan (Robinson) right there,” Domino said. “And I wanted to do everything I could to — they punched us — to hit right back at ‘em.”
Skyline’s Davis and Ahlemann each won their second consecutive regional title.
Davis pinned Brentsville’s Jackson Schnetzler in 3:58 in the 113-pound final.
“Overall I thought I wrestled well throughout the whole tournament,” Davis said. “I pinned everybody. It’s just what we expected to do, wrestling as hard as we could. Just make way for (the state tournament).”
Ahlemann pinned William Monroe’s Kaleb Doshier in 54 seconds. The sophomore pinned all of his opponents in less than a minute.
“My goal was to come in and pin my way through the tournament — and that’s what I did,” he said. “I couldn’t really ask for a better tournament to set me up for states. It was kind of the perfect tournament.”
Warren County’s Coffron pinned Brentsville’s Tate Lang in 3:17 of the 160-pound final for his first-ever regional title.
The match was tied 2-2 when Coffron followed the example of his teammate Jost and used the cement roll to turn things around and get a pin.
“I’ve gotten most of my pins on that move this season,” Coffron said. “Hunter Jost taught me it at the beginning of the season. Every time I lock it in I know it’s going to happen. So I roll it and stick ‘em.”
It was Coffron’s first tournament win of the season after not making the starting varsity squad last year.
“It feels so great honestly,” Coffron said. “I’m just like ‘I won.’ It’s crazy. I don’t usually win tournaments. I get like second or third and now I’m actually winning. I’m like I might actually be good at this thing.”
Skyline’s Gue pinned Spotsylvania’s Logan Kern in 48 seconds for his first regional title.
“I had no clue who he was,” Gue said of Kern. “I just went out there and wrestled him like I did every other match. And it just so happened to work out in my favor. I dominated him, imposed my will on him. And I ended up sticking him.”
Warren County’s Dylan Becker lost in the 132-pound final to Brentsville’s Zoitos Carayianni, 23-6. Warren County’s Isaiah Frame lost in the 152-pound final to Spotsylvania’s Tucker Sorrell, 11-3. Skyline’s Jacob Grady lost to Culpeper’s George Moseley, 8-3, in the 182-pound final.
Brentsville won the team title with 240.5 points, followed by the Hawks with 221.5 points and the Wildcats with 210.
The Wildcats, who had won the last two regional team titles, are sending 10 wrestlers to next weekend’s Class 3 State Championships in Salem.
“I thought we wrestled great today,” Warren County coach Matt Wadas said. “Obviously we got 10 (to states) and we would have liked to have sent more. But I thought the kids performed great and that’s what’s important.”
Skyline is sending nine wrestlers to the state tournament. The Hawks, who have only one senior, have set high goals for next week’s state tourney.
“We’re happy, but not satisfied with not getting the win,” Skyline coach Kyle Symons said. “Next week our goal is to bring home a team trophy. You have to be top three to do that. So that’s what we’re shooting for.”