Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 15, 2014

Virginia wrestlers revising postseason plans

BLUEFIELD — Prep wrestlers qualifying for the Virginia state meet at the end of next week will face a quick turnaround.

With the state prep wrestling tournament locked in for next Friday and Saturday at the Salem Civic Center, winter weather has forced the regional round to be squeezed in next week.

The Group 2A West Region meet is now set for Monday and Tuesday at Virginia High in Bristol, “because of the severe conditions and huge snow amounts, primarily in the Roanoke area, and Floyd, and out around the Randolph-Henry area,” according to Tim Woodward, Graham’s wrestling coach.

The regional tournament will include nine teams from the West Subregion and 10 from East Subregion. The format will be 16-man double elimination brackets.

The top six finishers by weight class will receive medals, but only the top four in each weight class will move on to the state level.

The G-Men will send a dozen grapplers to the region meet, after they survived the new East Subregion tournament held a week ago in Martinsville.

Graham had two subregion champions — Hunter Cook (160 pounds) and his brother Dylan (195). Kyshon Lee took second place, Levi Stroupe and Jon Jennings finished third and Colin Beavers wrapped up a fourth-place finish.

James River came in first in the East Subregion. Graham was fifth overall.

“We had a bad day Saturday,” Woodward said. “Several of our kids came in sick. Before it was over, just had two who were not sick. It was that stomach bug that’s going around.”

The first major glitch in a relatively injury-free year for the G-Men came at a particularly bad time.

“We’d escaped all year being sick, up until that Saturday morning,” Woodward said.

Due to the weather, the team has not practiced since Tuesday, the coach said.

To get his wrestlers back on the mats, Woodward has scheduled a practice for his team for today at noon, “but I’ve made that into a ‘come-if-you-can’ practice,” Woodward said. “Some kids have already told me that their parents don’t want them to try to make it.”

The regional round, for roughly the western half of the state, begins at 4 p.m. Monday. with the championship first round.

The start time on Tuesday is 10:30 a.m. Matches for third through sixth place are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The champi-onship finals are slated for 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.

“It has to be done by Tuesday,” Woodward said. For those who qualify for the state meet, that will mean one day of practice on Wednesday to get ready.

“On Thursday, we have to go down there,” he said, noting that a practice and a coaches’ meeting are scheduled for Thursday evening.

The Group 2A championships next weekend will use an eight-man bracket in each weight class.

— Contact Tom Bone at

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