Brookville defends district wrestling crown
Lynchburg News & Advance
Saturday, February 16, 2008
MONETA - The results of Saturday's the Seminole District wrestling tournament at Staunton River were secondary to the injury Liberty's senior heavyweight Chris Price suffered in his third-fourth place match.

The senior landed hard on his upper-back and remained on mat until emergency workers secured him on a backboard and braced his neck.

Price was taken to the parking lot at Staunton River High School and flown by helicopter to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

"He lost feeling in his lower extremities," Minutemen coach Darryl Updike said. "But, the (emergency workers) told me he was starting to get some feeling back while they were loading him up."

Though thoughts were still with Price, the meet went on and Brookville claimed first place with 260? points to earn its 39th consecutive Seminole District title.

"But who's counting," Bees coach Don Shuler said. "It feels pretty good and there is a lot of pressure or it seems like there is a lot pressure (that comes with the streak)."

The Golden Eagles finished second with 206? points, followed by Jefferson Forest (154), Amherst (133), Rustburg (123), Liberty (114) and Heritage (82).

The Bees placed wrestlers into eight of the 14 championship matches and Eli Stewart (112), Kyle Broda (119), Zeb Stewart (119), Ronnie Guthrie (140), Nathan Shuler (145) and Ryan Jackson (275) all captured district titles.

Jackson's championship was particularly impressive as it was just his fourth bout of the season.

The defending Group AA heavyweight state champion injured his knee during this past football season but the senior still managed to pin Rustburg's Keith Williamson in just 18 seconds.

"Everything feels all right," Jackson said. "It's not swelling or anything so I'm feeling pretty good. I just have to keep working really hard."

It was Jackson's third Seminole District crown.

Three other seniors also claimed their third Seminole District title.

Staunton River's Will Epperly (130) pinned Rustburg's Ross Garner in 2:57.

"It feels pretty good to know you were the best in the district," Epperly said. "I really appreciate all the people that have helped me through all the years."

JF's Chris Bowyer (189) pinned the Golden Eagles' Tony Boughton in 3:32.

"I started wrestling when I was 7 years old and I wanted to be a four-time district champion but it didn't happen my freshman year," Bowyer said. "I just came back and kept working harder and harder."

The Cavaliers' Brandon Beemer pinned the Bees' Cory Patterson in 1:10.

"It feels good but four would have been better," Beemer said. "I just went out there and wrestled my match."

The most exciting championship match was at 160, where Staunton River's Scott Fike took a 1-0 lead into the third period over Jefferson Forest's Tommy Neal.

But, Fike was penalized a point for his third caution during a restart that tied the match at 1-1.

Fike decided to give an escape point to Neal rather then try to ride Neal for the 50 seconds and go to overtime.

Neal managed to pick Fike's ankle on a takedown attempt but Fike fought him off, spun and flipped Neal to get the points for the takedown himself.

"It's like that every time (Neal) and me wrestle," Fike said. "I just grabbed his ankle and kept scrambling."

Fike rode Neal for the 25 seconds to earn his title.

At least the top four finishers at every weight class advance to next week's Region III tournament at Stuart's Draft.

"I'm definitely looking forward to (the region and state tournaments)," Amherst senior Paul Jamison said. "I was a state qualifier last year and finished third in the region. I really want to step it up."

Jamison won his second Seminole title by defeating Staunton River's Nick Manley 17-13 at 152.

Bowyer was the tournament's most outstanding wrestler and Shuler and Amherst's Brandon Stanberry were named co-district coaches of the year