By Brian Hoffman
The William Byrd Big Orange wrestlers fell a little short of expectations at the state Class 3 wrestling tournament in Salem last weekend. Byrd finished 12th as a team but had just one wrestler place.
“We did not have as successful a weekend as we had hoped,” said coach Thomas Kessler. “We had three kids lose in the blood round.”
The “blood round” is the final round before assuring a place finish in the top six. Chris Jimenez, Derek Burton and Hunter Richards all lost close matches in that round on Friday.
The only Terrier to advance to Saturday’s action was 220 pound senior Zach Figart. He made the finals with a 7-4 win over Jamar Christian of New Kent in the morning semifinals. However, Zach was denied a second straight state championship when he lost to Spencer Goolsby of Heritage in the final, 8-4. It was just the second loss of the season for Figart, who finished 28-2.
“Zach had a great career, placing fifth, first and second at the state tournament in the past three years,” said Kessler.
New Kent High won the tournament with Christiansburg taking second. There were a total of 44 Class 3 teams that scored.
Byrd will graduate Figart, Noah Wells and Jeremy Austin from this year’s team. The Terriers return six of the seven state qualifiers who wrestled at the Salem Civic Center last weekend.
“Besides our short comings we are very proud of the success we had during the year,” said Kessler. “We hope to build on our success and keep getting better.”