Warriors rule Warrior Duals

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Nansemond River High School wrestling team established momentum going into Saturday’s conference championships by composing a strong finish to its regular season last Saturday in a tournament at Nandua High School.

The 10-team event was called the Warrior Duals, named after the Nandua Warriors, but the Nansemond River Warriors made it their own, going 5-0.

“Overall, we wrestled very well as a team,” Nansemond River coach Tripp Seed said, noting his Warriors went in with the goal of winning the tourney to create momentum.

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They achieved that goal by defeating Nandua, Bruton High School, Essex High School, Colonel Richardson High School out of Maryland and Peninsula Catholic High School.

“That Peninsula Catholic match was a good one for us,” Seed said, adding that it was in the finals when Nansemond River faced the Knights, who had a couple wrestlers that were ranked in the state and lost to his Warriors on Saturday.

Individually for the Nansemond River Warriors, “nobody went worse than 3-2 this weekend, so everybody won matches for us,” Seed said.

He had six wrestlers who went 5-0, including sophomore 106-pounder Derrick Cannon, senior 113-pounder Malcolm Dawson, sophomore 126-pounder McKale Cannon, senior 152-pounder Malik Neely, freshman 160-pounder Zach Gray and junior 285-pounder Dia Gray.

Both Dawson and McKale Cannon defeated Essex wrestlers who finished as the state runners-up last year in Group 2A.

Four Nansemond River wrestlers went 4-1 on Saturday: sophomore 138-pounder Daniel Peacher, freshman 145-pounder Aaron Whear, freshman 195-pounder JaQuell Harrell and junior 220-pounder Tommy Cervantes.

Nansemond River finished the 2015-16 regular season with a 16-9 record in dual meets, navigating what Seed said was by far one of the most challenging schedules that he has put together.

“We had a pretty successful season considering we have nine freshmen and sophomores in the lineup this year,” he said. “Overall, I think we wrestled pretty well.”

Nansemond River hosts the PenSouth Conference tournament, which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and Seed certainly has expectations for where his team ought to place.

“I think we should win it,” he said. “But we’ll see how it plays out.”