In last week’s action on the mats, Madison County welcomed nine other teams to the 16th annual “Mountaineer Classic” held on Saturday.
When it was over, Manassas Park claimed the first-place trophy and James River-Buchanan the runner-up hardware. Orange County took third place and Madison County came in fourth. The rest of the mix included Central-Woodstock, Charlottesville, Woodberry Forest, Covenant, Parry McCluer and Stonewall Jackson-Quicksburg
Divided into two pools of five teams, pool members faced off in four matches before being assigned placement matches.
Madison went 3-1 in its pool with wins over Charlottesville and Central-Woodstock by the identical score of 48-24, and then defeated Woodberry Forest, 54-24, before facing James River.
The Knights erased a 12-point deficit and won six straight bouts to defeat the Mountaineers, 54-30.
James River went on to face Manassas Park for the top prize while Madison County squared off against Orange County’s “B” team with third place on the line.
Like the Knights, the Hornets had to come from behind to win. Trailing 30-15 with five bouts remaining, the Hornets made it a clean sweep and made the final score, 45-30.
The event, which was Madison’s first at home this season, had its share of heroic moments and at least one notable achievement for all time.
Beginning with the latter, longtime head coach Mike Sacra of Madison County notched career win No. 450 when the Mountaineers defeated the Black Knights of Charlottesville in round one action.
And, in what may have been foreshadowing of things to come, Madison heavyweight Jacob Sacra, who placed third at last year’s Group 2A state meet, pinned James River’s Levi Walker, last year’s state runner-up.
On the day, Madison’s best included Sacra and Christian Corbin (220 pounds) who both went undefeated at 5-0, while Jack Bourdon (138/145), David Barringer (160) and Corey Helmick (170) all went 4-1.
Here are the results and highlights from last week’s “Mountaineer Classic:”
Madison County 48, Charlottesville 24
The Mountaineers bested the Black Knights 4-3 in the seven contested bouts which were all decided by fall.
As for the other seven bouts, Madison gave up six points by forfeit and Charlottesville 24, and there were two double forfeits.
Madison had winners in Chris Dallas (132), Bourdon (138), Sacra (285) and Sam Pequignot, and Charlottesville’s victors included Stuart Applestein (120), Aiden Lewendowski (126) and Max Tyree (106).
Madison County 48, Central-Woodstock, 24
The Mountaineers and Falcons witnessed an even split among the eight contested bouts and, once again, the results were all by fall.
Bourdon, this time up a weight at 145 pounds, Helmick (170), Sacra (285) and Evan Sabine (120) all pinned their opponents and for Central, William Ayala (126), O’Bane Dodd (160), Ryan Shumaker (106) and Isaac Dodd (113) did likewise.
Madison County 54, Woodberry Forest 24
Head-to-head, the Mountaineers edged the Tigers 5-3.
And, like the two previous matches, not a single bout advanced past the second period.
For Madison, Bourdon (145), Barringer (160), Helmick (170), Corbin (220) and Sacra (285) all flattened their opponents.
Four of the five controlled their opponents from the opening whistle while one, Corbin, had to reverse his fortunes.
Trailing 5-2 at the start of the second period, Corbin started in the down position and, 45 seconds into the period, the Mountaineer senior scored on a reversal and worked his opponent, Emmett Aydin, to his back and the win by fall.
For the Tigers, Wes Dillard (138), Rainey O’Malley (120) and Silas Garza (132) all pinned their way to victory.
Up next, Madison County and James River—which were both 3-0 in the pool—met with the winner to advance to the first-place match and the loser to wrestle for third.
James River 54, Madison County 30
The Mountaineers started well and built a 30-18 lead before the Knights charged back with six straight wins—all by fall—to advance to the first-place match against Manassas Park.
The action opened at 145 pounds and Bourdon pinned Michael Jorgensen (1:51) to give Madison a 6-0 lead.
After the two teams traded forfeits., Helmick (170) pinned Caleb Shipwash (1:23) to make it 18-6 in favor of Madison.
But Addison McCaleb (182) claimed a Madison forfeit and Austin Miller (195) pinned Maleek Butler to tie the match at 18-18.
Corbin (220) then claimed a forfeit to make it 24-18 in favor of Madison with the most anticipated bout up next: Sacra v. Walker.
Going in, Sacra knew of his opponent’s strongest suit.
“I know he is really good in neutral,” said Sacra. “But I really think I can get him when I’m on top.”
Walker, who used a snap down move to take his previous opponents to the mat, attempted the same maneuver against Sacra who successfully thwarted his efforts until the waning seconds of the first period. With the late first-period takedown, Walker led 2-0, and had choice to start the second period. Walker deferred, and Sacra chose down.
Sacra soon worked an escape to make the score 2-1. Later in the period he scored a takedown of his own and turned Walker to his back for the win by fall at the 3:48 mark, which electrified the crowd.
Looking back on the match, Sacra said, “He snapped me down and I got down on my knees and he circled behind me [for the takedown]. It was a little disappointing but on bottom I just did what I always do [and got the escape]. “
As for getting his own takedown and putting Walker to his back, Sacra said, “He tried a trip and he kind of fell. I hipped in and he went straight to his back.”
Sacra’s win pushed the Mountaineer lead to 30-24, but the Knights won all six remaining bouts—and all by fall—to push past the Mountaineers, 54-30.
For third place: Orange County “B” 45, Madison county 30
Once again, Madison built a lead only to watch it disappear.
The Mountaineers led 30-15 with only five bouts remaining but the Hornets swept all of those with pins to get the victory.
Thirteen of the 14 individual bouts were decided either by fall or forfeit.
The exception came at 195 pounds when Orange County’s Braedon Swift won by decision, 7-3, over Maleek Butler.
The surprise came during the final bout at 145 pounds which pitted Bourdon against Bryant Chiles.
Bourdon started well with a quick takedown and two sets of back points. He built a 6-1 lead going into the second period.
But Chiles scored a reversal and maneuvered Bourdon to his back to secure the fall at the 3:18 mark.
After the match, Bourdon said, “I was fatigued from the other four matches and I was up a weight. He was a little stronger than me.”
But Bourdon and his fellow Mountaineers have ample time to rest. He and his teammates do not return to competitive action until January 8 for a scheduled quad at home.
Going into the holiday break, Madison is 7-9 in dual matches and has competed in one individual tournament so far this season.
Individually, Sacra is unbeaten in 19 matches with 15 wins by fall and four by forfeit.
Bourdon is 14-5, all victories by fall, and Christian Corbin is 10-3.
David Barringer is 8-4, Sam Pequignot is 11-8, and the ever-aggressive Corey Helmick has evened his record at 9-9 with eight wins by fall and one by forfeit.