NR wrestling looks to make history

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

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As the Nansemond River High School wrestling team goes to compete in the Class 5 state tournament, they could bring home the school’s first wrestling title.

The Warriors will be in Ashburn over the weekend to compete in the Class 5 state tournament. After finishing runner-up as a team last year, the Warriors have a good chance to improve one more place and take the team crown for the first time.

Throughout the season, the Warriors have wrestled well, traveling to the best tournaments on the East Coast and wrestling against some of the strongest competition. The Warriors have compiled an impressive list of top finishes and respectable placements, which they feel have prepared them for this very moment. The team has about what they could accomplish this weekend, but that has not deterred them in their focus.

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“We have thought about it, but we are not stressing out about it,” senior Andrew McDougal said. “We are just going to wrestle our matches and focus on what we need to focus on.”

Nansemond River is coming off of a region championship in which they sent at least eight weight classes, which should bode well for their chances at a team title.

The experience they have at the state level should help them as well. Standout sophomore Braxton Lewis returns to the state tournament as the reigning state champion at 106. His win last year was a first for Nansemond River in more than 20 years. Lewis feels he is a better wrestler than he was a year ago, which should help in his pursuit for a second consecutive state title.

“I definitely have expanded on my moves, so I do feel like I’m prepared for anything at his point,” Lewis said.

Overall, the Warriors feel good about their preparation, and Coach James “Tripp” Seed also believes his team is focused and ready. A team state title can be a big statement for wrestling in Suffolk going forward.

“We feel great, and we do feel like we can make history,” Lewis said. “We feel like we can eventually work to make Nansemond River a powerhouse for wrestling in the state. We feel like we are on the rise, and we are going to continue to keep getting better and better.”