Seniors return for NRHS wrestling

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nansemond River senior wrestlers Demetrius Ortiz, right, and Graeme Beamen practice for the impending season which begins tonight at Northampton High School.

Nansemond River High School head wrestling coach Tripp Seed has confidence his team will be competitive this year if it is optimally fit and avoids injury.

“We’ve got to stay healthy, because I don’t have the numbers like we had before,” Seed said. “So, we stay healthy, we’ll do OK as the season goes along.”

The Warriors went 22-8 last year and lost just two members from that team. Four seniors populate the current squad.

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“We upped our schedule a little bit more this year, so it’s tougher than what it’s been in the past,” Seed said. “We still should be pretty competitive. I’m thinking fourth or fifth in the district is reasonable to say for us, right now.”

A major challenge for the team will be in getting the right athletes down to their ideal weight classes.

This includes standout junior Nick Garland, who is going to start the year wrestling at the 126-pound level and who Seed hopes will be down to the 120-pound level by the district match Dec. 12.

Senior Graeme Beamen will start the season in the 138-pound class, and senior Demetrius Ortiz at 145 pounds. They will aim to move to the 132 and 138-pound classes, respectively.

“It’s just a little bit easier on them,” Seed said. “The more they get in shape, the more the weight comes off of them, and it’s easier to make it throughout the year.”

Seed must fill all 14 weight classes to avoid a six-point forfeit penalty. This means that some younger wrestlers must step up to fill in the holes created by the more experienced wrestlers who are still at higher weights.

Sophomore Hunter Hill will be at 132, while Beamen is at 138, and sophomore Jacob Clark will fill in at 120 while Garland is at 126.

Seed also cited two wrestlers in the 106-pound class as up-and-comers: sophomore James Boone and freshman Malcolm Dawson.

The team’s heavyweight wrestler, junior Caleb Repko, is currently unavailable due to injury, underscoring Seed’s comment about the need to stay healthy.

“He got hurt during football, so he’s out for the first two matches I know of,” Seed said. “He’s really good too. He’s going to do really good this year.”

While Coach Seed, in his sixth year as head coach, feels reasonably good about the upcoming season, he’s reticent about predictions.

“This could be one of the better teams I’ve had, or it could be one of the worst teams, and I don’t know,” he said.

Nansemond River opens up the varsity wrestling season tonight on the road against Northampton High School.