NR wrestling returns with high expectations

Published 9:31 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Warriors wrestling program heads into this season as a favorite for the Class 5 state title.

Last season, the Nansemond River High School wrestling team had its best season since the late 1990s. As a team, they finished as a top-three finisher at the state tournament but also came away with a couple of individual championships and high finishes. Former NRHS standout Aaron Whear earned a state title, while returner Braxton Lewis earned the other.

The Warriors return a ton of wrestlers, including Lewis, who wrestled well during the postseason last year. It all adds up to high expectations for the Warriors.

Email newsletter signup

“We feel like our expectations have never changed,” Coach James “Tripp” Seed said. “We feel like we can make a run at a team title this season if everything falls into place. We want to make sure we are getting guys in the right weight classes, and with what we have returning and younger guys we’ve added, our goal is to be a state champion this year.”

The Warriors have a talented team, but it’s not an older team, with just four seniors on the roster. Lewis headlines not only the Warriors’ team but wrestlers throughout the area as a state champion at 120. Also returning for the Warriors is Evan Rawls, who finished third in the state at 113 last year, along with Matt Henson, who wrestled well at 182, and Andrew McDougal, who did as well at 126. Matt Prevatte finished in the top eight at the state tournament, as well.  With the experience the Warriors have returning, Seed feels it has been beneficial in what to teach and what to focus on as a coach.

“We can take it to the next level with some things in some of the more detail-oriented situations we may face throughout the season,” Seed said. “With the experience we have, we can focus on some different things.”

Seed has been happy with the development of his team over the last couple of years. Because of the development, Nansemond River will compete in some premier tournaments ranging from Virginia to South Carolina. It will be great competition for the Warriors to face that will get them ready for the region and state tournaments once again.

“We beefed up the schedule this year to be more competitive to be more prepared later in the season,” Seed said. “This a good group I’m coaching here. They have put the work in, and it’s a good chemistry amongst the team.”