Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 9, 2014

Grundy grapplers dominate Western Sub-sectional match

By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WISE, Va. — By LLOYD COMBS

for the Daily Telegraph

WISE, Va. — It was all about seeds Saturday at Central High School, but it had nothing to do with agriculture.

Grundy dominated the first-ever Group 2A West Western Sub-sectional tournament and sent eight wrestlers on to next weekend's regional round as number one seeds.

Every wrestler who competed Saturday advances to Group 2A West action at Virginia High.

Grundy finished 76 points ahead of second-place Lee, which sent four wrestlers to the finals and had two champions. Third-place Richlands had one champion.

Grundy put itself in good shape under this season's new post-season format. The Golden Wave had 11 wrestlers in the finals.

Golden Wave champions were Andy Webb (106 pounds), Maverick Coleman (113), Cody Puckett (120), Austin Hurley (126),  Trey Smith (145), Elliott Pedigo (152), Dylan Raines (160) and Tristan Bonds (170).

"It's just basically a qualifier to the next week, but we looked solid," veteran Grundy coach Travis Fiser said. "I thought we did pretty well, top to bottom."

Richlands senior Devin Lawson won the heavyweight title.

The 9-team tournament went by quickly, lasting a little over six hours. Five of Grundy's winners notched pins in the first period and three of them won in under a minute.

That includes sophomore Maverick Coleman, who just last week set what's believed to be a state, and possibly a national, record with a 4-second pin in the three-year old 113-pound weight class.

"I've just been working hard, I've not stopped, I've not let up at all," said Coleman after pinning Lee's Kasey Burgan in 59 seconds in the finals. "I've stayed in the room a lot and I've been working harder, really. It's getting to be crunch time, it's getting close to state."

The finals win that seemed to please Fiser the most belonged to another Wave sophomore, Tristan Bonds. Bonds won the 170-pound crown when he pinned Zeke Vance of Richlands in the finals.

"That was huge," Fiser said. "He's only been wrestling a couple of years. It was his first big win and it's going to help him out for next week.

"His consistency is starting to come out a little bit. He's wanting a little bit more out of himself, I'm real happy with how he's doing."

Added Bonds, "This is my first championship, period. I feel like I've really come a long way since last year.

"Travis Fiser and Raymond Webb, they'll really push you to get better.

There's so many more who have helped me, I couldn't name them all."

A number of seniors hoping to get a shot at a first state title also earned number one seeds for the regional tourney, including Devin

Lawson. One of three Blue Tornado wrestlers in the finals and one of 12 moving on to the next round, Lawson pinned a familiar opponent, Tazewell's Garrett Jessee, in the finals.

 "(Jessee's) a good wrestler," said Lawson, who won by fall with 15 seconds remaining in the match. "I had to work hard to beat him."

No Richlands wrestler qualified for state last season. Lawson hopes to change that in his final shot.

"I've just worked ten times harder than I did last year," he added.

"It's my senior year, I just want to go as far as I can." Caleb Lankford reached the finals for the Blues at 152 pounds, where he lost to Pedigo, a state finalist last year as a freshman. "Lankford and Vance, I'm proud of them," Richlands coach Frank Daugherty said. "They really battled and they wrestled well all day. "And Devin, he's 36-7 now on the year. He's wrestled well, too.

All eight Grundy wrestlers won by fall, including Webb, Puckett, Hurley, Smith, Pedigo and Raines.

"I'm pretty pleased with what I've seen today," Fiser said. "Our veterans, Maverick and Austin and Trey and Dylan and Elliott, and Cody, too.

"And I always kind of throw in Andy Webb in there with the veterans.

Even though he's a freshman he looks very seasoned. He doesn't look like a freshman, he's been around it a little bit."

Brian Potter (132), freshman John Justus (138) and Jordan McCowan(182) all reached the finals for Grundy.