STEPHENS CITY – Sherando High School junior Timmy Dieter and senior Zack Kales were each afforded the chance to redeem their losses to a pair of Fauquier wrestlers in last weekend’s Class 4 Northwestern District tournament championship finals during Friday’s Region 4C tournament. Neither could quite exact revenge on their home mat with regional titles on the line.
Dieter and Kales both made runs for their first career regional championships but instead saw Fauquier’s Kyle Budd and Tyler Raymond take gold for the second time in the last week.
In the rematch of the district title match at 132 pounds, Dieter again found himself on the losing end when Budd – last season’s 120-pound state runner-up – laid claim to the regional crown with a pin late in the first period.
“Honestly, he’s not a better wrestler than me,” said Dieter, who beat Budd 6-4 in overtime during a dual last month. “I always do stupid things whenever we wrestle that give him the upper hand.”
On Friday, Dieter said, it was his aggressiveness that caught up to him.
Both wrestlers were awarded 2 points about midway through the first frame before referees got together and reset both scores to zero (Dieter said one referee prematurely awarded Budd points for a takedown, prompting officials to also erase Dieter’s own points following a reversal).
As the seconds ticked down in the period, Dieter tried to grab hold of Budd’s leg and instead found himself on the losing end of a scramble that ended with Budd’s pin with four seconds left on the clock.
“Just trying to go for something that was just stupid, that wasn’t there when I thought it was and I should’ve just fought out and worked out my defense and trying to score,” Dieter said.
“We kind of got into a funky situation, I went to attack him, go for a roll-through cradle, I guess, but it wasn’t there so he just cradled me and I landed right on my back.”
Despite Friday’s outcome, Dieter – who beat Woodgrove’s Derek Shockey, a fourth-place finisher at 126 last season 3-0 to reach the championship finals – still qualified for the Virginia High School League Class 4 state tournament for the second year in a row and finished one spot higher than he did in the regional championships last season.
Kales, who lost a narrow 3-2 decision to Raymond last weekend, saw the Fauquier senior hand him another loss in the 220-pound regional championship final by way of a 5-0 decision.
“At this point (disappointed) would be a good word,” said Kales, who earned a 2-0 decision over Loudoun Valley’s Charlie Salt to reach the finals. “I’ve seen him a couple times in my career and it’s been back and forth, and then this year I just haven’t figured him out yet. Coming second to him every time sucks but hopefully next week it’ll be a different outcome.”
After handfighting dominated the first half of the opening period, Raymond earned 2 points with a takedown with 34 seconds left in the frame. He extended that lead to 5 points with an early escape and a takedown in the second period before Kales earned his only point of the match via penalty due to an illegal hold with two seconds remaining in the bout.
“Wrestling in neutral seems more difficult. We know what we both like to do,” Kales said. “Everything gets a little bit more difficult because you have to try to mix up your own game but you don’t want to stray too far away from what you like to do. And he’s trying to do the same thing.”
Freshman 126-pounder Heath Rudolph was the Warriors’ only third-place finisher in the tournament, as he scored a 14-1 major decision victory over Woodgrove’s Connor Sisk in their consolation finals match. Sisk pinned Rudolph in their first-round match earlier in the tournament, but the Sherando freshman avenged the loss by building a 9-0 lead in the rematch and scoring a takedown and three back points as time expired.
Rudolph, who placed third in the Class 4 Northwestern District tournament last weekend, went 3-1 in his first regional competition.
“I think starting off he got the slow start, wasn’t firing on all cylinders,” Warriors head coach Pepper Martin said of Rudolph. “I think he was a little bit nervous being a freshman and being in the regional tournament. But he persevered. After losing your first match, you have a tough road to hoe to come all the way back to get third.
“He has to have confidence in his ability,” Martin added, “because he showed what he can do when he’s on the attack, on his feet and set the pace of the match and has a little confidence out there.”
Sherando seniors Tucker Anderson (160 pounds) and Zach McCarty (182) each will make their first state tournament appearance after earning fourth place. Anderson fell to Fauquier’s Kevin McEachin by a 5-2 decision in the consolation finals, and McCarty was pinned by Loudoun Valley’s Zack David in the second period of their third-place bout.
Freshman heavyweight DeShawn Lee, who went 0-2 in the regional tournament, was the only Warrior eliminated from further postseason contention on Friday. The top four individuals advance to the Class 4 state tournament in Portsmouth next weekend.
Liberty (204 points) took home the team title with Fauquier (199.5) earning the runner-up trophy. Sherando (74) placed eighth out of 14 teams.