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Fluco wrestlingIn a rare home wrestling match on Jan. 12, the young Fluvanna County High wrestling team fell to Albemarle 18-54 but bounced back to top Louisa County 48-27 and Monticello High 42-33.

Fluco Coach Michael Gore noted after the match that although his squad is very young, he is pleased that they are working hard and developing rapidly. The team has only one senior, Ian Dillon, and he is a very tough competitor. In this meet, Dillon took the mat three times for the Flucos at 160 pounds. In all three of his matches, he won by a pin. He showed extraordinary quickness – his movements were comparable in speed to a wrestler 30 pounds lighter. Dillon was able to quickly achieve take-downs for two points against all his opponents. Once he had his opponent down, if he was not satisfied that he had the opponent in an unfavorable enough position, he let the opponent escape for one point, and simply took him down again. Ultimately, this strategy worked, as he pinned all three opponents without ever being in any visible danger.

The Flucos also received top performances from junior Esa Mayo-Pitts and freshman Alden Custer, both of whom recorded two wins by pin out of three matches. Mayo-Pitts wrestled at 126 pounds, while Custer competed in the 220-pound weight class. Sophomore John Bland is also a wrestler that Gore cited for making good progress. His win by pin at 145 pounds in the contest with Monticello High was a key to the Fluco victory in that match. He also lost a match by a single point in the tightest match of the night.

It is interesting that although all individual matches are scheduled for three periods, very few of the individual matches went the distance. Most matches were ended by a pin by one side or the other, and several matches were ended on points. When one wrestler gains a lead of 15 points or more the match is ended. Wrestling is very tough sport and a wrestler who is down by 15 points is usually being beaten pretty badly, so there is no need to continue that pain.

High school wrestling matches move along at an amazing speed. Once one weight class match is over, the next match starts about one minute later.  The Flucos wrestled three teams in less time than it takes to play a basketball game. Of course, the speed was hastened by weight class forfeits by teams on both sides. With 14 distinct weight classes ranging from 106 pounds and under to 285 pounds and over, it is rare for a high school team to be able to field a wrestler in every weight class.  A team may have multiple wrestlers in the middle weight classes but no one to fill lower or upper weight classes. However, there is often at least some flexibility as to what weight class a wrestler is in. Therefore, winning by forfeit can be a badge of honor, if the other team moved a wrestler to its empty weight class to avoid going up against a wrestler they know they cannot beat.

The Fluco wrestlers are scheduled to travel to Madison County for a match on Jan. 18 and on Jan. 21 they will host the Fluvanna County High tournament. On Jan. 25, they travel to Western Albemarle for another four-team event. They end their season on Jan. 28 at Henrico High.