By Brennan Waldorf
The Northampton wrestling team traveled to Staunton, Va., last weekend, Feb. 15, to participate in the Division I, Region A/B wrestling tournament. The host team Riverheads High School won the tournament, putting 11 wrestlers in the finals and crowning seven champions. Riverheads took third in the state tournament last year and ran away with the regional crown, amassing 279 points compared to second place Lancaster with 169 and third place Mathews at 154.
The Yellow Jackets were hindered by injuries this season and entered only five wrestlers into this year’s tournament. Sophomore Aizmani Joseph leads the way for the Jackets as their top finisher in the event. Joseph took runner-up at 145 pounds, losing his only match to the 2019 state runner-up, Lane Cash of Riverheads in overtime. Joseph was 35-6 on the year before the regional tournament and will look to improve at states after a fourth place finish last year.
Due to the lack of smaller schools in the region, the Division I region A and region B tournament had to be combined. This allows for the top six wrestlers in the regional tournament to advance to states. Northampton’s (113) Kevin Perez fifth place, (138) Wyatt Anderson sixth place, and (220) Crescencio Sugia fifth place will all be advancing to the state tournament.
Northampton, Nandua, and Arcadia will all head to Salem to participate in the State Wrestling Tournament held at the civic center. The two-day tournament kicks off Feb. 21 and will conclude the following night. Nandua and Arcadia will compete in the Division II tournament while Northampton will be wrestling in the Division I tournament.