Warriors trend favorably on mat

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

The performances Nansemond River High School’s wrestling team produced last week represented a positive development in the ebbs and flows of a season.

The Warriors entered 12 wrestlers who could score points in an individual event on Saturday hosted by Lafayette High School called the Ram Rumble. The Nansemond River wrestlers’ performances combined for a 147.5 team score, good for fourth out of 24 teams and only 38 points behind winner, Mills E. Godwin High School.

“We’re wrestling better overall as a team,” NR head coach Tripp Seed said.

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Junior James Boone was one of two Warriors to finish second in their respective weight classes. Seed said in order for Boone to do that, he defeated Mills Godwin senior 113-pounder Nico Rivera, who is ranked No. 2 in the state among Group 5A schools.

Boone lost in the finals to Gloucester High School junior Anthony Monahan by an 11-5 decision.

Nansemond River junior Leon Lynch finished second in the 160-pound weight class to First Colonial High School junior Nevin O’Brien, who won by a major decision, 18-5.

Three Warriors placed fourth: sophomore Malcolm Dawson at 106 pounds, senior Nick Garland at 120 pounds and freshman Dia Gray at heavyweight.

Senior Andrew Smith placed sixth at 160.

Earlier in the week, Nansemond River posted conference wins over Phoebus High School and Denbigh High School.

The Warriors experienced a substantial loss earlier this season when star heavyweight, senior Caleb Repko, was dismissed from the team due to disciplinary reasons. He won the regional championship last year and placed fifth in his first-ever state appearance.

“We’ve moved past it,” Seed said, and he is optimistic about the team’s chances at the end of the season.

Dia Gray has stepped up to compete in the heavyweight division, and senior Derek Hopkins will be eligible after the semester break for the 220-pound weight class.

Senior 126-pounder Donya Craig has been out due to injury, but will return soon.

“We should qualify all 14 kids for regionals,” Seed said. “That will help us in the team score when we get there.”

Meanwhile, putting a hitch in the team’s immediate plans have been snow days, preventing it from practicing most of the week.

Nansemond River (16-8, 5-0) competes in its final conference match next Wednesday, with Heritage High School coming to town. Then, on Feb. 1, the Warriors will host an invitational including Denbigh High School, Dinwiddie High School, Lafayette High School and Warwick High School. A slot remains for one more school.

Following are the results from the Ram Rumble held recently at Lafayette High School:

Team results

1) Mills Godwin, 185.50

2) South County, 175.50

3) Dinwiddie, 168.00

4) Nansemond River, 147.50

5) Cape Henry, 142.00

6) Tabb, 141.00

7) Kecoughtan, 139.00

8) Gloucester, 136.50

9) Smithfield, 132.50

10) First Colonial, 129.50

11) Bayside, 101.50

12) Warwick, 97.00

13) Lafayette, 87.00

14) York, 82.50

15) Cosby, 71.00

16) Hampton, 69.00

17) Jamestown, 68.50

18) Mathews, 62.00

19) Lancaster, 60.00

20) Woodside, 46.00

21) Bruton, 40.50

22) Green Run, 33.50

23) Norcom, 24.00

24) Bethel, 23.00

Top individual NRHS finishers:

Championship round (first and second place)

113-Anthony Monahan (Gloucester) beat James Boone (NR) by Dec 11-5;

160-Nevin O’Brien (First Colonial) beat Leon Lynch (NR) by Maj Dec 18-5

Consolation round (third and fourth place)

106-Matthew Favazzo (Gloucester) beat Malcolm Dawson (NR) by Dec 6-4;

120-Kalide Endale (Lafayette) beats Nick Garland (NR) by Dec 6-4;

285-Ross Manfred (Smithfield) pinned Dia Gray (NR) in 4:54

5th place match (fifth and sixth place)

160-Nick Ravida (Lafayette) beat Andrew Smith (NR) by Maj Dec 9-1