Wrestlers host Billy Wensel classic tournament

Wrestlers host Billy Wensel classic tournament

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco wrestling team, under Coach Michael Gore, hosted the third annual Billy Wensel classic invitational Saturday (Jan. 19). The tournament is named for a long-time Fluvanna resident who was a wrestler and a wrestling coach and is suffering from ALS. Wensel and his family were in attendance for the tournament.

Seven teams came to Fluvanna County High School to wrestle in the main gym on three mats. The competition began at 9 a.m. and continued well past noon. Teams came from near, such as Fork Union Military Academy, and far, like Stone Bridge from Chesapeake. Also competing were Chancellor High, John Marshall, Colonial Heights-Hopewell and Charlottesville High.

The tournament format was a little complicated, but the matches came off like clockwork. The squads were divided into two four-team pools and each squad wrestled two teams in its pool in the initial rounds. The top two teams in each pool then went into the top play-off bracket, while the bottom two teams from each pool went into the lower bracket.

The Flucos’ first match was against the powerful squad from Stone Bridge High. The Flucos were handicapped by the fact that they were not able to field a wrestler in a number of weight classes and had to give up forfeits in those classes. The final score was Stone Bridge 50-Fluvanna 18.

Two outstanding performances were turned in by Fluco wrestlers. Wrestling at 120 pounds, Jairq Henson recorded a pin for the Flucos as did Shawn Metcalf who wrestled at 145 pounds. Ethan Vernatter, one of Gore’s most experienced and strongest wrestlers, won by forfeit, as Stone Bridge did not contest the 170-pound class.

In its second match in Pool A the Fluco squad competed against Huguenot High. Huguenot had even more empty weight classes than the Flucos. The Flucos managed to top the Falcons by a score of 36-23.

In this match, Vernatter was able to score a pin at 170, and the Flucos piled up a number of points on forfeits. The Fluco squad also had the following wrestlers in action: Wyatt Dillon wrestled at 126, Mason Justus competed at 132, David Taylor was the Fluco wrestler at 138, while Tyler Stoy took the mat at 145. Dakota Mundy was the 160-pound contestant for the Flucos.

The Flucos will wrestle at Heritage High Saturday (Jan. 26) and then compete in the Region wrestle-in at Monticello High Jan. 30.

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