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Hard at work

Nansemond River’s wrestling squad’s been ready to take on crosstown rival Lakeland since mid-December.

The originally-scheduled meet between the Warriors and Cavaliers was postponed when Nansemond River had to call off a day of school because of a broken water line.

The make-up date was set for last Saturday as the Cavaliers rearranged a meet to include Indian River and Nansemond River. That was snowed out and attempts to have the meet on Tuesday and Wednesday have fallen to the wayside as schools have still been out.

It’s been a case of, maybe not “hurry up and wait,” but certainly “be ready and wait,” says NR head coach Tripp Seed. Seed’s led his Warriors to two tournament championships and a 5-2 Southeastern District record this season, a record including stunning dual victories over Great Bridge and Grassfield.

“We’ve been ready to have the matches at Lakeland every day since Saturday,” said assistant coach Vincent Pisani.

Unfortunately for the Warriors and Cavaliers, Wednesday evening turned out to be the last chance to get their district clash in. With the Southeastern District Tournament, weather-permitting, scheduled to be held Friday and Saturday at Grassfield, Nansemond River and Lakeland won’t meet this season in a dual.

Nansemond River, King’s Fork and even a few wrestlers from other area schools have at least been staying ready with only a couple days left before the district tournament.

At Suffolk Mixed Martial Arts on Wednesday morning, Nansemond River and King’s Fork were hard at work on the mat.

“They (Suffolk MMA) have been very good to us to allow us to practice here every day we haven’t had school,” Pisani said.

Seed admits having to skip the match against Lakeland hurts a bit. He said wrestlers on both teams were looking forward to the rivalry as Lakeland is also having a season with many signs of improvement.

“We could’ve finished 7-2 in the district and, of course, there’s bragging rights for Suffolk,” Seed said.

There’s still more than enough reason to stay motivated though. Finding a great facility to practice in has helped tremendously. A long layoff before the postseason tournaments start would’ve been a tough problem to overcome.

Instead, on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, NR and KF have taken full advantage of the offer from Suffolk Mixed Martial Arts.

“The last three days, we’ve even had kids from the Williamsburg area coming here to workout. It’s sort of just been an open mat,” Seed said. Wrestlers from Western Branch and Churchland have become regulars, too.

It’s beneficial to get any practice time in, but the practices at Suffolk MMA have been a step above normal because wrestling against different opponents is often better, especially nearing the end of a long season, than facing the same teammate day-in and day-out.

“Some kids haven’t been able to be here every day. They didn’t have a ride here. But most of them have found ways to get here, by asking around for a ride or whatever,” Seed said.

“It shows the guys’ dedication and that this is a hard-working team. King’s Fork’s had all of its kids here every day, too,” Seed said.

Even if weather pushes the Southeastern District Tournament back from Friday and Saturday, don’t bet on the Warrior and Bulldog wrestlers sitting around and taking it easy this weekend.