Fluco wrestlers reach Billy Wensel Tournament final but fall to FUMA

By Duncan Nixon

The 4th Annual Billy Wensel Wrestling Tournament was contested at Fluvanna High on Saturday, Jan. 18. The tournament is named for a well-known former wrestler and wrestling coach, who lost his battle with ALS this past year. In his honor the Flucos team has contributed $2,000 to the ALS Foundation.

This years’ tournament was originally intended to include eight teams, but due to some predictions of inclement weather two schools dropped out on the night before the tournament. Matches and times had to be changed at the last minute, but the revised tournament schedule came off without a hitch. The schools that competed were Cumberland County High, Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA), King George, Colonial Heights, Chancellor High and, the hosts, Fluvanna County.

The format for the competition was a sort of double round robin. The tournament started with two three team divisions. Each team competed against the two other teams in its division. Then a second round of matches was held with the top teams and bottom teams competing. Then the top two teams that emerged from that round competed for the championship. The two Fluvanna county teams Fluvanna County High and FUMA reached the finals. In this competition, FUMA won by a score of 48-30.

The Fluvanna County Flying Fluco team was matched up at 10 a.m. against the Chancellor High Chargers and at 11 a.m. against the Colonial Heights Colonials. The Flucos roared to victory in both these matches. Against the Chargers the Flucos recorded an astonishing shut-out. The final score of the match was 75-0. Fluco wrestling Coach Michael Gore has in past seasons, had to forfeit multiple weight classes because of a lack of personnel. This year that is not the case and this can make all the difference in a contest with 14 distinct weight classes.

In the Flucos competition against the Chargers the match started with the 152 pound weight class. The Flucos’ Shawn Metcalf, a junior, completely dominated his opponent, piling up points before recording a pin. In the next match the same was true as senior Tyler Stoy was well ahead on points when he too pinned his opponent. The Chargers then forfeited the next four weight classes. The Flucos led 36-0 after two matches. In the 285 pound class, Fluco football center Alden Custer pinned his opponent in less than a minute. The match then shifted to the lower weight classes.

Junior Tyler Haynes, senior Wyatt Dillon and freshman Aiden Valentine all recorded impressive pins and the Flucos picked up two more forfeits. The final match of the contest was at 145. Sophomore Sean Oliva was involved in by far the most competitive contest of the first round. In a nail biter, Oliva and his opponent battled to a 7-7 tie in regulation. In sudden death overtime, Oliva was able to achieve a quick two point take-down to win the match.

In the match against Colonial Heights High School, which followed after a brief intermission, the first weight class was 160. Tyler Stoy was again able to pin his opponent for six points. At 170, Fluco sophomore Austin Moore also recorded a pin. Colonial Heights won at 182 with a pin, but the Flucos recorded forfeit wins in the top three weight classes to take a 30-6 lead. Switching to the lower weight classes the trend continued as the Flucos recorded a forfeit win at 106. Then the Flucos forfeited at 113 giving Colonial Heights its second six point score. The Flucos then finished off the match in outstanding fashion as they recorded pin after pin. Senior Jariq Henson got a pin at 126. Wyatt Dillon recorded his second pin of the morning at 132. Valentine did the same at 138. Sophomore David Taylor got a pin at 145, as Oliva was rested after his exhausting win in the first contest. In the final match against Colonial Heights, Metcalf scored a second pin and the Flucos scored an impressive 72-12 win.

In the five match competition, Fluco wrestlers Aiden Valentine, Jason Hamshar, Caleb Stoltz and Alden Custer were all undefeated.

Coach Gore said that his team has been having a good season. They certainly devastated their competition in the first two rounds of this tournament with pin after pin. Gore said that he has some solid veterans and some up and coming younger wrestlers. His roster includes 22 wrestlers this season

The Fluco wrestlers traveled to Madison County High School on Jan. 22. Madison was one of the schools that bowed out of the Wensel tournament. On Jan. 25, the Flucos travel to Stone Bridge in northern Virginia. On Feb. 2, they will host the District event against other local Class 3 schools, Monticello High School , Charlottesville and Western Albemarle.




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