“Out of the pan, into the fire.”
That familiar idiom describes Madison’s wrestling team which felt the heat at the “Big Red Invitational” at Riverheads High on Jan. 25, then felt it intensify at last weekend’s “Warrior Invitational” at Western Albemarle.
At the first event, Madison finished in the eighth spot among 14 teams. Riverheads came in first, 16 points ahead of runner-up William Byrd, while Sherando claimed third.
Both Byrd and Sherando are classified as 4A schools.
At the second event, Riverheads fought off a determined Mussleman High (WVa.) to win by just 1.5 points. Freedom-South Riding (6A) was third and Amherst County (4A) was fourth.
Madison finished in the ninth spot among the 16 teams.
But unlike the “Big Red” where one Mountaineer, Jacob Sacra, battled for an individual title, not a single Madison wrestler made it to the championship finals at the “Warrior Invitational”.
Senior Christian Corbin (220 pounds) paced the Mountaineers with his third-place finish and had to win four matches to get there.
Corbin went 4-1, all wins by fall.
Teammates Sam Pequignot (113) and Sacra (285) both finished in fifth place, DaQuan Ravenel (106) came in sixth, Jack Bourdon (138) in seventh, and Jacob Sikora (132) in eighth.
Evan Sabine (120) and David Barringer (160) competed but did not place.
The Mountaineers did not have entries in the 126, 145, 152, 170, 182 and 195-pound weight classes.
Before the burn, Madison’s eight grapplers started well.
While Sacra and Pequignot had first-round byes, five of their six teammates won first-round matches. Ravenel, Sabine, Bourdon and Corbin all pinned their opponents and Sikora pounded out a win by major decision.
Barringer fell to a very physical Caleb Callaham of E.C. Glass (4A).
The Mountaineers did well in the next round with Ravenel, Pequignot, Barringer and Corbin getting wins, but witnessing Sabine, Bourdon, Sikora and Sacra come up short.
Sabine, Bourdon and Sikora all lost by fall while Sacra dropped an 11-5 decision to Musselman’s James Kilmer who would go on to win first place in the division.
For Madison, the killer round included the championship semifinals and second-round of consolations.
In the former, all three Mountaineer wrestlers—Ravenel, Pequignot and Corbin—lost. Corbin fell to Jonah Robson of Riverheads whom he had worn down and defeated at the “Big Red”.
In the second-round consolations, only Sacra won. He needed just 12 seconds to stick Willie Jarvis of Amherst County.
But Sacra’s teammates weren’t as fortunate. Sabine, Sikora, Bourdon and Barringer all lost in that order.
In the next round, Ravenel, Pequignot, Sikora, and Bourdon all picked up wins but, in disbelief, watched Sacra drop a heartbreaker to Alden Custer of Fluvanna who used a hip toss to take Sacra to his back for the fall at 0:45.
Ravenel wrestled next in a high-scoring affair with Freedom’s Chase Pollick. The Eagle led 14-13 when his second takedown of the bout soon put Ravenel to his back with the fall coming at 3:38.
Bourdon finished his day the way he started it—with a bout against Conner Broussard of Freedom.
In their first encounter, Bourdon overcame a 9-6 deficit after two periods. With top position to start the third, he quickly maneuvered Broussard to his back for the fall at 4:45.
In their second bout, Bourdon trailed 2-1 after the first period, chose neutral to start the second, and scored a quick takedown and pinned Broussard in 1:36.
For Corbin, he met another wrestler from Riverheads with third place on the line. Instead of Robson who met Cole Singer of Freedom in the finals, Corbin faced Robson’s teammate Connor Hagberg.
Though Hagberg started well and eventually built an 8-2 lead midway through the second period, Corbin scored a reversal and put Hagberg to his back and the fall at 2:30.
While the Mountaineers and many other teams were looking for some burn relief, Riverheads and Musselman battled it out to the bitter end with the Gladiators winning in razor-close fashion.
Riverheads had four individual champions and Mussleman had three.
For the Gladiators, Jude Robson (113), Camden Cook-Cash (120), Cody Cash (132) and Lane Cash (145) all stood atop the awards podium and for the Applemen, Brady Hemp (126), Joey Miller (138) and Jamie Kilmer (285) claimed titles.
Hemp and Miller were simply dominant. Both pinned their opponents in the championship finals and in quick fashion while Kilmer outlasted a determined Jacob Edwards of Freedom, 3-2.
Miller was named the tournament’s “Most Outstanding Wrestler”.
Earlier in the week, Madison was scheduled to host a quad on Wednesday which was reduced to a tri-match after Orange County pulled out.
The tri included a very small team from East Rockingham (three wrestlers) and a competitive squad from Clarke County.
Here are the results:
Round 1: Madison County 54, East Rockingham 18
The Mountaineers and Eagles faced off in just two bouts and the Eagles won both. Dalton Shifflett (145) pinned Chris Dallas and Brady Fincham (170) won by major decision, 10-1, over Corey Helmick.
Round 2: Clarke County 42, East Rockingham 13
Round 3: Madison County 42, Clarke County 29
The Mountaineers and this nest of Eagles went head-to-head in nine bouts with Madison claiming a 5-4 edge.
132: Sikora by fall over Kaylee Anderson, 0:18.
138: Bourdon by fall over Jonathan Robinson, 1:43.
170: Helmick by fall over Romy Bodejas, 1:23.
220: Corbin by fall over Roger Tapscott, 0:30.
285: Sacra by fall over Daniel Ruiz, 0:58.
106: Cannon Long by fall over Ravenel, 1:05.
113: Colin Moran by fall over Pequignot,, 4:44.
145: Alvara Wong by fall over Chris Dallas, 2:45.
160: Daryn Daelov by fall over pinned Barringer, 3:51.
This week, Madison was scheduled to host a quad on Wednesday with teams from Massaponax, Courtland and Rappahannock County.
The post season begins this Saturday with the Bull Run District at Stonewall Jackson High,