Madison’s wrestling team faced its stiffest competition of the season at last Saturday’s “Big Red” Invitational at Riverheads High School where team trophies went to the top two teams and medals to the top three wrestlers in each weight class.
When it was over, the host Gladiators had tallied 211.5 points to claim first place and William Byrd (Vinton, Va.) took the runner-up hardware home after finishing with 185.5 points.
Among the field of fourteen teams, Madison finished in the eighth spot with 76 points.
Individually, Jacob Sacra (285 pounds) finished in second and Jack Bourdon (138) and Christian Corbin (220) both finished in third place.
Sacra, the team’s sophomore heavyweight, entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and with an unbeaten season record of 27-0. He met William Byrd’s Hunter Richards (No.2) in the championship finals and the Terrier battled his way to a win by decision, 5-2.
Sacra reached the finals after pinning Tyler Moore of Appomattox County in the quarterfinals and a testy John Wood of Riverheads in the semifinals. Wood’s antics pushed the bout nearly the distance until a determined Sacra ratcheted up his intensity level and turned Wood to his back for the fall at the 5:19 mark.
Bourdon and Corbin both competed in the consolation finals with third place on the line. Bourdon pinned Peyton Skillman of Riverheads (2:05) and Corbin, who trailed Jonah Robson of Riverheads 9-1 in the second period, first scored an escape and then a takedown with a fireman’s dump that sent Robson to his back. Corbin used his back for leverage and Robson, who was trapped underneath, quickly found himself pinned. The fall came at the 2:28 mark.
“I was trying to wear him down,” said Corbin of Robson after the match. “I could tell that he was getting tired.
It was a remarkable comeback for Corbin who looked undersized compared to his Gladiator opponent who recorded three takedowns and a set of back points before Corbin stormed back. After Sacra, Bourdon and Corbin, Madison’s best finishers included Sam Pequignot (113) and Corey Helmick (170) who both went 2-2 on the day and both finished in sixth place.
Pequignot’s two victories included one fall and one major decision, while Helmick pinned both of his opponents and made some personal inroads even in his loss to Allegheny’s Travis Fridley.
Earlier in the season, Fridley pinned Helmick in the first period (1:44), but on Saturday Helmick battled Fridley into the third period before Fridley could get the win by fall.
The rest of the Mountaineers included DaQuan Ravenel (106) who went 1-2; and Evan Sabine (120), Dillen Wilson (126), and Chris Dallas (132) who all went 0-2.
Madison did not have entries in the 145, 152, 160, 182, and 195-pound weight classes.
Earlier in the week on Wednesday, Madison hosted a tri-match with teams from Page County and Fluvanna County.
Fluvanna went 2-0, Madison split at 1-1, and Page dropped both matches.
Ravenel made his season debut at 106 pounds and immediately made his presence known. He recorded one of the fastest falls of the season in his initial match against his opponent from Page County, and nearly duplicated the feat in his second match of the evening against Fluvanna County.
Ravenel, a promising freshman, said he joined the wrestling team after losing a bet.
“I bet [Assistant] Coach [Michael] Foster that if I didn’t make the [junior varsity] basketball team I would come out for wrestling. I didn’t really like it (wrestling) at first, but now it’s fun.”
And even though Ravenel went 1-2 (win by forfeit) at the Big Red Tournament, he was close to winning his opening match against AJ Santiago of Riverheads. In a wild-scoring affair, Santiago finally trapped Ravenel to his back at the 3:57 mark. At the time, Santiago was trailing Ravenel 14-8 before he scored a reversal and then put Ravenel away.
A similar scenario unfolded during Ravenel’s second and final bout at the Big Red. He battled Ethan Eppard of Riverheads on even terms before Eppard scored a second-period takedown and took Ravenel to his back.
Back to Wednesday’s tri-match, here are the results:
Round 1: Madison County (MC) 54, Page County (PC) 24
170: Helmick (MC) by forfeit.
182: Wyatt Hensley (PC) by forfeit.
195: Hagan Bradley (PC) by forfeit.
220: Corbin (MC) pinned Coby Housden, 0:40.
285: Sacra (MC) by forfeit.
106: Ravenel (MC) pinned Jeffrey Staples, 0:07.
113: Peguignot (MC) by forfeit.
120: Sabine (MC) by forfeit.
126: Wilson (MC by forfeit.
132: Sikora (MC) by forfeit.
138: Bourdon (MC) by forfeit.
145: double forfeit.
152: Logan Garrison (PC) by forfeit.
160: Patrick Sullivan (PC) pinned Barringer, 1:36.
Round 2: Fluvanna County 60, Page County 0
Round 3: Fluvanna County (FC) 48, Madison County 30
195: Jason Hamsher (FC) by forfeit.
220: Caleb Stoltz (FC) pinned Corbin, 0:58.
285: Sacra (MC) by forfeit.
106: Ravenel (MC) pinned Hollyn Pleasants, 0:20.
113: Pequignot (MC) by forfeit.
120: Hunter Dallas (MC) by forfeit.
126: Jariq Henson (FC) pinned Dillen Wilson, 1:04.
132: Wyatt Dillon (FC) pinned Chris Dallas, 0:32.
138: Aiden Valentine (FC) pinned Jacob Sikora, 1:17.
145: Dave Taylor (FC) pinned Bourdon, 3:00.
152: Sean Oliva (FC) by forfeit.
160: Tyler Stoy (FC) pinned David Barringer, 1:02.
170: Helmick (MC) pinned Austin Moore, 4:52.
182: double forfeit.
This week, Madison was scheduled to host a quad on Wednesday with teams from East Rockingham, Clarke County and Orange County’s “B” team.
This Saturday, the Mountaineers travel to Western Albemarle High to compete in an invitational which, for Madison, replaces the tournament at Fluvanna County on Jan. 18 from which Madison pulled out.
Going into this week, Madison’s individual leaders are Sacra, with a record of 29-1, followed by Bourdon at 20-11 and Corbin at 18-7.