Eastern Shore Wrestlers Earn Spots on Podium at State Finals

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By Krystle Bono, Submitted Photos

Last weekend, the Arcadia Firebirds, Nandua Warriors, and Northampton Yellow Jackets traveled to Salem, Va., to compete in the VHSL State Wrestling finals at Salem Civic Center. The Yellow Jackets finished 12th overall in group 1, and the Warriors were 27th and the Firebirds finished 36th in group 2.

Northampton’s Brandon Odom finished third in the 132-pound weight bracket.

Odom received a bye in the first round, and fell to George Wythe’s Will Castanon in the quarterfinals by a 7-0 decision. In the consolations, Odom pinned Franklin’s William Wellons in 2 minutes and 37 seconds to move him to the next round, and he won by fall of 4:49 over Northwood’s Tristan Bowman. Odom defeated Stonewall Jackson’s  Hunter Cowart  by technical fall of 16-0, 4:49, to move him to the third place match. In his final 132-pound matchup, Odom topped Cumberland’s Trequan Trent (SV-1, 8-6) to finish third in the state.

Yellow Jacket Aizmani Joseph earned a fourth-place finish in the 138-  pound bracket. He defeated George Wythe’s Alyssa Waller by a fall time of 46 seconds in his first match, then went on to top Grundy’s Jacob Stiltner in the quarterfinals by a fall of 3:32.

Joseph fell to Riverhead’s Lane Cash by a decision of 13-6 in the semifinals, putting him in the consolation rounds, in which he won by major decision of 16-6 over Honaker’s Dylan Shortridge. The third-place match went to Lancaster’s Domonique Veney by a major decision of 14-4, settling Joseph in fourth.

Northampton’s 170-pound grappler, Gary Peart, finished fifth overall. He received a bye in the first round, and fell to Wytheville’s Terry Morgan by decision of 8-5 in the quarterfinals. Peart defeated Middlesex’s Owen Miller by a fall time of 2:08 in the consolations, and then he downed Stonewall Jackson’s Udreka Claude by a decision of 10-5. In the consolation semis, Peart fell to Northumberland’s Christopher Davis by a 5-2 decision, putting him in the running for the fifth-place match, in which he came out victorious over George Wythe’s Morgan for the second time by major decision of 12-1 to finish fifth.

Yellow Jacket Myles Lewis earned sixth place in the state at 126, going 2-3 for the tournament. Lewis received a bye in the first round, then went on to defeat Honaker’s Dylan Barrett by major decision 19-6. He fell to Grundy’s Brandon Owens by major decision of 15-3 in the semifinals, and then to Patrick Henry’s Damien Hatfill by a close 4-3 decision in the consolation, placing him in the running for fifth. The last match up went in favor of his oppenent, Honaker’s Barrett, who he faced again, earning him the sixth-place spot.

Also representing the Yellow Jackets, wrestler Gavin Brittingham went 1-2 and Crescencio Sugia went 2-2 in their first state tournament.

In the group 2 state competition, Nandua’s Joseph Castiglia earned a sixth-place finish in the 220-pound weight bracket. Castiglia fell in the fifth-place match to Lee’s Luke Estes to finish in sixth.

Nandua’s Cameron Mears, Joe Teasley, James Burr, Matt Taylor, David Gastelum, and Arcadia’s Angel Vasquez, Austin Studebaker, and Ronaldo Lopez also competed in the group 2 state competition.

Broadwater’s William Wehner competed in the VISAA State Wrestling Championship and ended the two-day event in sixth place as an eighth grader in the 106-pound weight bracket.

Wehner received a bye in the first round, and then went on to defeat  Hargrave Military Academy’s Tyler Medlin by a fall time of 2:23. He fell to Grace Christian School’s Daniel Cozzolino by fall of 1:09 in the quarterfinals, but came back in the consolations to top Bischop O’Connell’s Nico Frankino by fall of 4:16, and Norfolk Collegiate’s Truman Skaggs by a fall time of 1:56. Wehner fell to Norfolk Academy’s Trey Custodio by fall of 3:22 in the next round, and the fifth-place match went to Fork Union’s Christopher Carr by pin in 45 seconds to settle Wehner in sixth place overall.