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The last time the Brookville Bees didn't lay claim to their district title was 1968. It was a year of Woodstock, protests in the streets and the age of counterculture.
If the Bees are any indication, 2012 is no 1968.
The Brookvillians put 11 wrestlers into the 14 final bouts en route to a surprisingly easy championship. While JF clearly dominated the rest of the field, the Cavs have yet to overcome the obstacle that resides to their east.
1. Brookville 279
2. Jefferson Forest 237
3. E.C Glass 143.5
4. Amherst 118
5. Rustburg 101
6. Heritage 93
7. Liberty 85
In all, the Bees earned nine individual titles. Jefferson Forest picked up four and Glass had one.
Jefferson Forest had a bit of the sting taken out of the defeat when Josh Bowyer was named Seminole District Wrestler of the Year.
Bowyer won the 160 pound class handily. He was joined in the winners' circle by fellow Cavs Brett Romanzak (106), Forrest Speake (152) and Eric Wellman (195).
The Cavs sent a total of eight grapplers to the finals, but four of those had to settle for second place: Peyton Woodall (126), Caleb Prather (145), Alex Cox (170) and James "Action" Jackson (182).
All eight, of course, qualify for regionals. Additionally, D.J. McDaniel (who finished third, at 113 pounds), Joey Nigro (third, 120), Ford Carmack (third, 132) and Garrett Neal (third, 220) made the cut.
Jeff Forest actually held the team lead after the first round, amassing 65.5 points to Brookville's 65. OK, we didn't say it was a commanding lead.
The difference came in round two, when the Bees put 11 into the finals, while JF could only manage eight.
After that round, the Bees held a nearly insurmountable 218 to 181.5 edge over the Cavs. "Our kids are coming through, as expected," said the always unflappable Don Shuler, Head Coach of Brookville.
Of course, Coach Shuler's eye is on another prize. "It's all about stepping stones," he explained. "Getting to States is the goal. It's most important to get more kids there. That's what you're here for."
Jefferson Forest Head Coach Bill "Hutch" Hutchinson accepted the defeat with a mix of disdain and pride. "It's not for a lack of effort," he sighed. "We're just getting beaten (by Brookville). To win this, we needed as many guys in the finals as they."
Liberty didn't have any grapplers in the district finals but will be sending a nice contingent to this weekend's Region III tourney (at Turner Ashby).
Liberty wrestlers qualifying for this week's Region III competition, at Turner Ashby, include: Jordan Clark (who finished fourth at 126 pounds), Allen Kittrell (fourth, 145), Breon Brawley (third, 182) and Josiah Davison (third, 195).
Head Coach Ethan Lucas brought a small, but determined group to districts. "These eight (wrestlers) are the hardest working in the room, and it's showing."
Indeed, even though many of his grapplers got a late start in the sport, five of them advanced in the first round.
Typical is Brawley. A former basketball player for the Minutemen, Brawley took up wrestling just this past Christmas. Through superb athletic skill and hard work, he managed to nab a third place.
Another is Josiah Davison. A transplant from Ohio, Davison went toe-to-toe with JF's Eric Wellman in the semifinals. That Wellman is from Michigan, we're sure, caused there to be little love between the two. Their bout stood at 0-0 after two rounds. Wellman got a reverse to start the third and he was on his way to a championship.
Brookville's titlests included: Landon Curry (113), Sean Perogoy (120), Troung Doung( 126), Luke Stewart (132), Jackson Clark (138), Josh Lancaster (145), Trevor Bruffy (160), Derek Thurman (182) and Victor Montalbano (220).
The only champion who wasn't wearing Brookville or Jefferson Forest colors was McKenzie Garnett, of E.C. Glass. He took the title at 285.