Nansemond River takes fourth in state wrestling tournament, led by state champion Jaden Wilkes

Published 7:36 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

Led by Jalen Wilkes’ state championship at 285 pounds and a trio of third-place individual finishes, the Nansemond River wrestling team finished fourth in the Class 5 state championships in Virginia Beach.

A trio of Fredericksburg-area schools took the top three places — Brooke Point (207 points), Riverbend (163) and Mountain View (148) — followed by the Warriors at 142 points.

Wilkes, the Region 5B champion, won his first three matches in the state tournament by pin, and then defeated Colin Pedersen of First Colonial by an 8-1 decision in the championship match.


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The three Nansemond River wrestlers who finished in third all lost to the eventual state champion in their respective brackets.

At 160 pounds, Braxton Lewis, after winning his first two matches by pin, lost a 5-4 decision to Rafael Hipolito of Independence before regrouping to pin Micah Osborne of Prince George and Parker Tillery of Frank W. Cox to finish third. Braxton Lewis won a state championship at 106 pounds as a freshman, and finished second in 2020.

Beau Lewis won his first two matches by pin at 132 pounds before getting pinned by eventual state champion Carson Main of Riverbend. Beau Lewis then defeated Carter Shupert of Cox by a 14-2 major decision and pinned Ryan Yriart of Woodgrove to round out a strong state tournament performance.

Owen Rawls, at 120 pounds, also pinned his first two opponents before falling 12-2 in a major decision to eventual state champion Jerry Simon of Deep Run. Rawls then defeated Kyree Flamer of Salem in an 11-4 decision and Parker Trahan of Brooke Point in a 1-0 decision for third place. Rawls won a state championship in 2020 at 106 pounds.

At 145 pounds, Joseph Russell finished fourth, winning his first two matches before losing his next match. He reached the third-place match before falling in a 6-4 decision to Zachary Taylor of Riverbend.

Madsen Jean finished fifth at 195 pounds and Camden Bauswell took sixth at 182 pounds for the Warriors, while Seth Murphy (170 pounds) and Kendall Cowens (138 pounds) won matches at the state tournament.

Nansemond River, which finished as state runners-up in 2019 and 2020 before not competing last season due to COVID-19, dominated the Region 5B tournament it hosted two weeks earlier, winning it with 286 points. Granby (207.5) finished second and Gloucester (143) came in third.

Seven Warriors — Rawls, Beau Lewis, Russell, Benjamin Hanson at 152 pounds, Braxton Lewis, Jean and Wilkes — won region championships, while George Garcia at 126 pounds, Murphy, Bauswell and Cowens finished second.

The Warriors also won the Region 5A championship in 2019 and 2020.