Sherando, Skyline wrestlers earn medals at Millbrook

WINCHESTER – Experience counts.

Sherando High School’s wrestlers earned three individual championship medals at Saturday’s Mayhem at Millbrook tournament, and each of the award winners had experience dating back to adolescence, according to Hall of Fame coach Pepper Martin.

“From the early days on up, they’ve been in some kind of program, getting to this point for us,” said Martin.

It was no wonder, then, that sophomore Tim Dieter (at 120 pounds), junior Jacob Stevens (138) and reliable senior John Borst (195) all won championship medals at Casey Gymnasium.

“Those are three who have been wrestling starting in the age-group (clubs) on up. They are guys that have wrestled a long time, all the way back,” said Martin. “They’ve been working over a long period, and it shows.”

Meanwhile, the other local school participating was Skyline High, which, though it failed to win an individual medal at the Winchester school, it up the scoreboard with runners-up and more.

Host Millbrook, coached by Jeff Holmes, finished runner-up in the tournament with 224 points, Sherando finished third (199.5) and Skyline was sixth (169.5).

Defending champion and 6A school James Robinson defended its team title with 283.5 points.

Hawks’ grapplers Tyrelle Robinson (152), Brandon Doffermire (145) and Curt Boswell (126) finished runners-up in the tournament, which included nine teams.

Boswell, runner-up at the 2015 Mayhem at Millbrook, lost to the same candidate as he did a year ago-Robinson High School’s Sam Book

“The difference is, a lot of wrestlers start when they are young. Several of our guys have been doing it since high school. Maybe they tried football, or thought about football, sometime during their high school careers. But they came to us as sophomores, decided they liked it and now they’re putting in the hours,” said Skyline coach Matt Keel.

Originally, Mayhem at Millbrook was scheduled to be a more largely attended event, but the weather forecast forced several schools to scratch.

Tournament coordinator John Borst, not to be confused with his record-setting Sherando High son who has the same name, was up before the dawn restructuring the tournament. He had to make sure all the individuals earned their respective tussles, while shrinking the entire roster of teams.

The younger Borst was one of three Warriors who swept through the competition.

For Dieter, it was his first tournament championship during his years at Sherando. He whipped Manassas Park’s Fahad Farooqui for the title

“It was overall probably my biggest win. It felt to get up on that podium as the representative of the No. 1 school,” the wrestler said.

Stevens’ medal was a long time in the coming. He suffered a “cauliflower ear” last season and, after finishing third at this tournament a year ago, his season was cut short when he underwent surgery.

Fresh for the current campaign, Stevens, Martin said, is coming into his own.

“He’s wrestling really well for us. He came back with a certain focus and it’s leading to production on the mats,” said the Sherando coach.

“Last year (the ear) was the size a golf ball, it’s gone down a good bit,” said Stevens.

He knocked off Jose Alfaro, also of Manassas Park, in the championship bout.

John Borst – the wrestler, not the coordinator – was 29-0 in dual matches coming into the tournament. He is a two-time national champion and was the defender of a title at Mayhem.

Keel’s team fails to have the experience of Martin’s, but the Hawks had several individuals who finished well.

His, son, Talon, a sophomore, finished third at 138 and fellow sophomore Jacob Grady picked up a third in the 170 round.

“(Talon) rebounded from being beaten badly in the first round and wrestled well. He’s a good tie-up guy, and he’s getting better at his shots-more confidence with them,” said Matt Keel.

Grady flipped the score on Loudoun Valley’s Zach David to finish off the tournament.

“Did you see that?” asked Matt Keel, “I thought for sure we were going into overtime on that one.”

Other locals who did well included Warrior junior Zach Kales (third at 220), sophomore Gavin Eanes (fourth at 113), Zach McCarty (fifth at 182) and freshman Anthony Damico (fifth at 126).

For the Hawks, Brandon Ahlemann ended in third at 106 and Morgan Robinson finished fourth at 120.

“What’s going on is that our most experienced wrestlers are doing well,” said Martin. “It’s our fifth, sixth, seventh and eight places who have to work their way into the finals.”

Contact Jim Laise at sports@nvdaily.com