LEESBURG -- Keagan Judd had a dream and on Saturday it came true.
The Sherando wrestler became the first-ever freshman state champion in program history. He won the 133-pound state title in the Class 4 Wrestling State Championships held at Tuscarora High School.
"It's a dream come true," Judd said. "I've had this goal since I was 8 years old, and as soon as I won it -- it felt good."
Judd defeated Heritage (Leesburg) junior Zachary Maisus in the 113-pound final, 6-4. The two wrestled each other once before.
Maisus beat Judd, 9-1, in an offseason tournament, the Interstate 64 High School Final 4 in Virginia Beach, on Oct. 19. The two were supposed to wrestle in the Region 4C tournament last week but Maisus forfeited the match.
"He beat me really good," Judd said of their previous meeting. "...I was going in under the spotlight. I was like when the game's on the line I got to shine. I was just pushing the pace. I knew I got to win for the team and try to make history as a freshman -- and that's what I did."
Maisus took an early lead with a takedown in the first period, but Judd cut the lead to 2-1 with 30 seconds left in the opening period. Then Judd got a takedown of his own in the final seconds of the first period for a 3-2 lead.
"The coaches always said always keep wrestling until the whistle blows," Judd said. "The last 10 seconds you just keep pushing the pace. ...I just kept driving my feet, lifting him and turning him and slammed him -- that's it."
Maisus was able to tie the match at 3-3 in the second period and it stayed that way until the third period. Judd took a 4-3 lead early in the period and then pulled off the move of the night to the roar of the crowd to get a takedown for a 6-3 lead with 1:12 left in the match.
"He hit a standing switch on the kid and obviously the crowd erupted," Sherando wrestling coach Brian Kibler said. "So everybody else was in amazement of that. But that's a pretty headsy move for a young kid to be able to do that -- A, to have it in his arsenal, and B, know when to pull it out. That was a very mature move at a pretty big moment."
Judd said he planned the move ahead of time and it paid off.
"I was trying to bait him to come in and hit my standing switch for a lift and it paid off," he said. "I knew as soon as I got that, that the momentum changed and I wasn't losing."
Judd received a bye in the first round of the two-day tournament and then defeated Salem senior Jeremy Mincy in the quarterfinals on Friday, 12-7.
"The second match, going against a senior, whew, I was a little bit nervous," Judd said. "Bus as soon as I beat him, I was on a roll. It felt good."
In Saturday's semifinals, Judd beat Smithfield's Nik Voros, 7-3.
Kibler said he was pleased with how Judd handled himself in the finals.
"He came in, he was able to ignore the noise of the state final, so to speak," Kibler said. "Ignore the fact that (Maisus) had already beat us once, and was able to wrestle a really good match against a good kid -- that was impressive."
Sherando's only other top finisher in the state tournament was junior Heath Rudolph at 145 pounds. Rudolph finished fifth for the second year in a row.
Rudolph said that he didn't feel like he wrestled his best over the two days.
"What it all boils down to is I'm going to have to show up and I'm going to have to wrestle a little bit better," Rudolph said. "I don't feel like I wrestled up to my potential. Honestly, I'm going to take like a week off, and I'm ready to get back in wrestling and get ready for next year. I've got one more year to achieve my goal."
Rudolph lost to eventual 145-pound champ Jesse Alvarado, of Great Bridge, in the quarterfinals Friday. Rudolph battled his way back in the consolation rounds, but then lost for the third time in three weeks to Liberty's Jovon Mitchell, 3-1, in the consolation semifinals.
Rudolph pinned Dominion's Jared Beasley in 3:51 in the fifth-place match.
Sherando freshmen Tyler Koerner (106) and Brogan Teter (132) and senior Colton Foltz (182) were in the state tournament but were eliminated on the first day of competition.
Fauquier won the team title with 170.5 points, followed by Great Bridge (164) and Liberty (139). Sherando finished 13th overall with 43 points.
"I don't feel like anybody underperformed," Kibler said. "It's always great to overperform and maximize your potential, especially in the postseason. I think everybody kind of hit their marks especially culminating with a state championship. Heath (Rudolph) wrestled well. Brogan (Teter) wrestled well. Tyler (Koerner) and Colton (Foltz) -- they all showed up to wrestle. And at this time of the year that's just as important as anything else."
It was the second straight year that Sherando has had an individual champion; 2019 graduate Timmy Dieter won the title at 132 pounds last year. It's Sherando's fifth individual state title in the past six years as Virginia Tech redshirt sophomore John Borst won three from 2015-17.
Kibler, in his second year as head coach, said it's good for the program to keep churning out state champions.
"It's good," Kibler said. "It means that in our room we have the tools and the people around and the training partners around, the training capabilities to not just be a flash in the pan. Hopefully we can consistently be challenging for state titles. Obviously, to win a state championship is very, very difficult, but the pieces of the puzzle are there. We have the capabilities to train people to get to that point.
"But ultimately it still comes down to the individual kids being able to wrestle. And to have two special kids like Timmy (Dieter) and Keagan and hopefully more coming along the line, it gives us pieces to work with as well."