A trip to Salem is on the line when the Big Orange wrestlers compete in
the Region 3D wrestling tournament at Abingdon High School this Saturday.
Salem isn’t far away, but the Byrd wrestlers have been on this journey across the
Roanoke Valley since last spring.
The top four wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes will earn a trip to
the Class 3 state tournament at the Salem Civic Center on February 16 and 17. It’s
a dream of every Byrd wrestler to compete in the “Big Dance” in front of a big
crowd in Salem.
“The goal is for everyone to extend their season another week and place
themselves in a position to place at the state tournament,” said Byrd coach
Thomas Kessler. “Darin Witcher is a returning region champ and looks to defend
his title. Seniors Bricen Lancaster and Gage Cockran look to get back to the state
championships again and end their careers on the podium.”
Northside played host to the Blue Ridge District wrestling tournament last
week and the Big Orange was third. Staunton River won the tourney with 232
points, followed by Lord Botetourt with 166.5 and Byrd with 155.5. Host
Northside was fourth with 129.5, Franklin County had 71 points and William
Fleming brought up the rear with 37.
The Terriers put six wrestlers in the BRD finals but only had one
champion, and that was the first match of the championship round. Witcher
pinned Lila jean Knight of Staunton River in just 25 seconds as he improved his
record to 25-2 on the season.
Taking seconds for the Terriers were Jonah Schofield at 120, Zane Taylor
at 126, Cockran at 138, Graylen Castleberry at 175 and Aidan Lucas at 190.
Taylor is 23-10, Cockran is 29-7 and Lucas is 25-12.
Winning consolation bracket finals to finish third were Bruce Robinson at
132, Lancaster at 157 and Stephen Underwood at 165. Lancaster is 26-7 and
Underwood is 28-8.
Two Terriers placed fourth, Kyle Kalinke at 113 and Brandon Hurley at