Toby is a junior and a first year Journalism student. He likes to play baseball and listen to music.
Fluvanna Wrestling: Season Recap and States Overview
March 2, 2020
The Fluvanna wrestling team dominated the mat this past season, pinning down the secret to success. The team consists of 21 individuals, and although there aren’t 21 wrestlers on the mat at one time, they performed as a cohesive unit. The Flucos built off each other this year, feeding on each other’s hunger for victory, and wrestling with a desire to represent their county well.
This past season was highlighted by victory upon victory for the Flucos, with some wrestlers placing at seemingly every match. On Jan. 13 Fluvanna competed at the Dinwiddie Invitational and had a staggering seven wrestlers finish within the top five for their weights. Out of 14 teams present at the tournament, the Flucos placed 6th, but were only a narrow 34.5 points away from 2nd place. “We are all together as a team… we’re like brothers for sure. I’ll be back next year just to practice with them because I love them,” said senior Jariq Henson.
On Jan. 21, the team hosted the annual Billy Wentzel Classic and did not disappoint in front of their home crowd. The Flucos posted a record of 3-1 on the day, finishing tightly behind FUMA in the championship match. Senior Alden Custer performed well, going 4-0 individually and securing one of those wins in double overtime. “Everyone was super supportive and the fan turn out was bigger than it’s ever been,” said Dillon.
The Flucos were back in action a mere two days later, this time venturing to Madison County for the Madison Tri Meet. Seniors Caleb Stoltz, Jariq Henson, Wyatt Dillon, and Tyler Stoy were unstoppable, all going undefeated on the day. Junior Jason Hamshar and freshman Aiden Valentine were also unbeaten in their matches.
Fluvanna kept their hot streak alive on Feb. 5 when they battled Charlottesville, Monticello, and Western Albemarle on their home mat. The team was undefeated on the night, beating both Monticello and Charlottesville rather easily. In the end, the Flucos were tied with the Warriors, but ultimately edged out Western on criteria. Twelve wrestlers finished in the top two for the conference, securing their spots in the regional tournament. Of the 12, six went unbeaten, including seniors Dillon, Stoltz, and Custer, junior Shawn Metcalf, sophomore David Taylor, and freshman Aiden Valentine.
“I think our team as a whole made a ton of improvements as the season progressed and finished strong as conference champs,” said Stoltz.
Feb 5. marked the final regular season match for the Flucos. On Feb. 9, the squad traveled to Liberty-Bedford to take part in the regional tournament. The team finished 7th overall out of 16 competitors and sent four individual wrestlers to the state meet. “They all came together and did a fantastic job. (We took) 12 to Regionals, which is the most ever, and four to States, which is the most since I’ve been here. It is a great accomplishment for them,” said Head Coach Jordan Divine.
In regards to placements, Metcalf wrestled back from a tough loss in the semifinals to place 3rd. Henson, who also lost his semifinal match, came back from behind to finish 4th. Valentine hurt his shoulder in his first match, but proceeded to secure a 4th place finish. Stoy also placed 4th after battling back from an early defeat, while Dillon and Custer both placed 5th, narrowly missing the podium. Both were selected to be first alternates for States.
After taking on the competition at Regionals, the four qualifying Flucos were off to Salem to compete in the state meet. The tournament was formatted in double elimination-style, meaning that there was little room for error. However, Valentine and Stoy lost both of their matches, resulting in their elimination. “We had a good season, but we need to get the whole team there. My goal for next year is to place in States,” said Valentine. Meanwhile Jariq Henson lost his first match, and with his back against the wall, won his second match to stay alive. He went on to lose his next match, knocking him out of contention for a placement.
As for Metcalf, he saw success at states, winning his first match, losing his second, and then bouncing back to win his third. During his third match, however, Metcalf tore his labrum, resulting in him not being able to continue in the tournament. Despite the setback, Metcalf persevered for the rest of the match and even captured the victory. If not for the injury, Metcalf would have moved on to the placing round of the state tournament. “It was hard. It was heartbreaking. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the tournament after I felt it tear, so the next best thing was to continue the match. I had roughly three minutes left, so I turned everything off and only thought about how good it would feel to get my hand raised,” said Metcalf. Although Metcalf’s junior campaign was cut short, he will be back on the mat next season.