- Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 23:06
- Published on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 23:06
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Washington and Lee’s second annual Montrossity Wrestling Invitational provided an excellent day of wrestling in Montross despite wintry weather and a uniquely disappointing visit from a solid wrestling squad by way of New Jersey. AAA power Brooke Point won the tournament, following in the footsteps of 2008 Montrossity champions and their Commonwealth District rival Mountain View.
Defending AAA state champions Colonial Forge sent a “B” team, which placed a close second and home standing W&L took the third spot.
Vineland High School from New Jersey was one of the early favorites in this tournament, but just days prior to the event, it was learned that New Jersey federation rules prevent their high schools from traveling out of state to compete in events that enable individuals to advance. Hence, the very tough squad was left to wrestle only non-scoring exhibitions against a few schools. They won 9 of 11 bouts in which they participated though, so it is clear that Vineland would have had an impact on the team standings had they been allowed to participate. Their wrestlers and coaching staff enjoyed their trip so much, though, that they have decided to schedule a team event in the Northern Neck for next year which would comply with New Jersey regulations.
Brooke Point had three champions, but their depth was the key to victory, placing a wrestler in the top four in all but one weight class. Colonial Forge and W&L each had four champions and Covenant, a private school program out of Charlottesville, had three champions to place fourth overall. King George finished in seventh place as a team despite being forced by weather to depart the tournament before the finals and consolation finals. Their sole finalist, 103-pound junior Jason Ames, was able to preemptively wrestle his finals match against Brooke Point’s Zach Carson, but lost a narrow 4-3 decision. Conner Webber, a 140-pounder from King George, also was able to stick around with his parents to place fourth, losing 9-7 to W&L’s third place Cale Coryell in the consolation finals.
W&L’s four champions provided the bulk of the Eagles’ team score. At 130 pounds, junior Cullen Oliver ran his record to 5-0 with a first period pin of Matheos Lozier of Colonial Forge in the finals. He also had a stirring 11-10 semi-final victory over Vinnie Eels of King George. Senior co-captain Sigifredo Luna eked out a 3-2 victory in the finals with a last-second escape over Colonial Forge’s Zach Martinez. The other senior captain, Laine Alles was dominant on the day, pinning all three of his opponents, including a first period decking of Middlesex’s Reese Harris in the finals. Perhaps the most surprising result of the day was sophomore 135-pound Michael Clayton’s run to the championship with three pins. Clayton began wrestling only this season, which means that his wrestling career spans about three weeks. Even more impressive, he pinned all three of his opponents with what must now be his signature move: the half nelson!
W&L junior Manny Verdugo finished third at 135 pounds and his classmate, 125-pounder Patrick Aponick slipped into the finals to finish second to Colonial Forge’s Drew Schmidtknecht. In the 215-pound bracket junior Matt Chatham was in a tight match in the consolation semi-finals versus Corey Keeling of Middlesex, but had to withdraw due to a strained knee.
Perhaps the most fitting honor of the day went to Vineland High School. By unanimous vote of the officials and coaches present, the team sportsmanship award was sent home to New Jersey for their poise and solid wrestling under very difficult circumstances. Washington and Lee will travel to Brooke Point on Dec. 16 to see how they match up with the Montrossity champions in a dual match.
1 Brooke Point 218
2 Colonial Forge B 207
3 Washington and Lee 134.5
4 Covenant 111
5 Middlesex 90
6 King William 54
7 King George 52
8 Northumberland 44