When four titles aren't enough

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River wrasslers take fourth as a team in spite of grand performances

By Mike Forster

  There'll be no placard for the wall this year.  That signage, showing who's the top team in Blue Ridge wrestling this year, will be hung in the gym at Northside.

Still, Staunton River, the defending Blue Ridge champ, had plenty to be pleased about following last weekend's BRD tourney.

The Golden Eagles finished fourth in the team standings, but still managed to put four grapplers on the champion podium.


1.  Northside             204.5

2.  Rockbridge            195.5

3. Lord Botetourt       158.5

4. Staunton River         156

5.  Alleghany              139.5

6.  William Byrd          127


As expected, the team standings ended up close.  It's tough to win, however, with one arm tied behind your back.  "We gave the district away," lamented Staunton River Head Coach Ron Long.  "Not having two weights did us in."

No doubt, the Eagles would have had a much better chance of repeating as champs if they had a full slate of grapplers.

Nevertheless, Long seemed pleased with the performances of some that he did bring along.

The quartet of champions from River was headed up by Chris Tyree, who won out at 170 pounds in convincing fashion.  The junior is widely expected to win at Regionals this weekend. 

River had a total of four champions, more than any other school.  "I was happy with the four champions," said Long.  "But I was not happy with the team placing."

Besides, Tyree, other Eagles that took gold were Jacob Thompson, at 113 pounds; Anthony Rezzonico, at 126; and Mychael Smith, at 152.

"Anthony wrestled well," assessed Coach Long.  "Mychael Smith wrestled the best he has all year."


Advancing to Region III

113   Jacob Thompson (1st)

126   Anthony Rezzonico (1st)

138   Quannie Blake (4th)

145   Forest Walters (2nd)

152   Mychael Smith (1st)

160   Calvin Martin (2nd)

170   Chris Tyree (1st)

195   Andrew Jacobs (4th)

With nearly the entire crew coming back next season, and with 10 current eighth graderes expected to join the team, next year looms very favorably for the Golden Eagle wrestling program.

Of course, the lads are far from done making noise this year.