Ten wrestlers from Richmond-area schools took home individual state titles this past weekend across the Class 4, 5 and 6 state meets at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.
Seven competitors from four schools won state titles at the Class 5 meet — Atlee’s Liam Harris (138) and Alex Frowert (145); Midlothian’s Crew Gregory (160), Ashby Berry (170) and Anthony Schwartz (182); Matoaca’s Keyshawn Burgos (220); and Clover Hill’s Andrew Blanton (285).
Midlothian finished third overall with 99 points. Coach Christopher Burks said that’s the highest the Trojans, who won their first region title this year, have ever placed at a state level. Gregory, Berry and Schwartz won just the second, third and fourth individual state titles in school history.
Schwartz is the team’s only senior, he moved from Alaska to Virginia at the end of his freshman year. Burks said he’s always had the talent and that raising his confidence levels was the key to leaving Midlothian a state champion.
Berry’s brother Knox finished second at 126 pounds, Burks said that tandem will be cornerstones of his burgeoning program. Gregory faced the toughest route to his championship, grinding through three close matches.
“It was a blue-collar day at work for these guys,” Burks said, adding that much of the group has wrestled together since they were 6 years old, coming up through the Midlothian minors program.
“They’ve been doing it for the last couple years and were finally able to finish on top. It was good that they were able to succeed and to do it together. It’s definitely a bright point for the program.”
Atlee’s Harris, a senior, and Frowert, a junior, are close friends who train together in the offseason. Harris said it was gratifying for them to see their labors come to fruition together.
“It was such a special moment for both Alex and I to be state champs,” said Harris, who missed two years because of injuries.
“This was one of the best moments of my life. Years of sitting on the sideline ... all lead up to this moment.”
Two wrestlers in Class 4 — Caroline’s James Dosado (152 pounds) and Hanover’s Aden Halsey (220) — took home top individual honors.
Dosado, who placed second in state meets the past two years, edged Hanover’s Luke Hart 3-2 to become the Cavaliers’ first state wrestling champion.
“Falling short two years in a row, taking second, then second, and finally winning it — it means everything,” Dosado said.
After revamping his training regiment during the offseason, Halsey returned from a loss in last year’s 220-pound title match to claim an 11-2 major decision this time.
“The journey and getting here and winning it ... it felt good,” Halsey said. “Especially after taking the loss last year, it meant a lot.”
In Class 6, Cosby freshman Elijah Cramer (106 pounds, 20-0) finished an undefeated season with a 6-4 decision in the title match. Aggressive offense defines Cramer’s style. He used a Granby roll leading into a takedown with just 6 seconds left to score the winning points.
“I’m super happy, the kid was a good wrestler, I finished the match well,” Cramer said, adding that the title is more gratifying after a season filled with pandemic unknowns.
Cramer is the fourth state champion Cosby coach Mike Stefanko has had, and the first freshman. Stefanko said the sky’s the limit for his future.
“It’s super exciting for any of these kids that got to compete this year,” Stefanko said.
"And I know we all feel bad for those around the Richmond area and around the state that didn't get that opportunity. But it is very gratifying, we are so happy that we were able to get a season."
1. Liberty (Bealeton) 113 ... 6. Powhatan 79.5 ... 12. Hanover 39 ... 14. Caroline 33 ... 17. Louisa 23 ... 27. Patrick Henry (Ashland) 7
106: Bryson Rios (Loudon County) d. Christian Eberhart (Liberty) 3-0; 113: Robert Philpot (Tuscarora) d. Walker Chambers (Salem) 11-5; 120: Owen Greslick (Louisa) d. Cam Gordon (John Handley) 7-5; 126: Moses Wilson (Spotsylvania) md. Patrick Smith (Heritage) 13-3; 132: Mason Barrett (LIB) d. Luke Roberts (LC) 4-2; 138: Colin Dupill (LIB) tf. Kyle Csikari (SPOT) 4:35 (23-8); 145: Noah Hall (LIB) p. Logan Jones (Dominion) 2:02; 152: James Dosado (CAR) d. Luke Hart (HAN) 3-2; 160: Simon Fossett (Broad Run) d. Daniel Taylor (Eastern View) 3-2; 170: Griffin Smythers (EV) d. Linwood Hill (POW) 5-2; 182: Kaine Morris (Amherst County) d. Kinglsey Menifee (Fauquier) 4-3; 195: Royce Hall (LIB) d. Benjamin Bell (FAUQ) 3-2; 220: Aden Halsey (HAN) md. Caleb Graham (LC) 11-2; 285: Alex Birchmeier (Broad Run) d. Cameron Martindale (SALE) 3-1.
Team Scores: 1. Brooke Point 156.0 2. Atlee 112.0 3. Midlothian 99.0; ... 8. Prince George 53.0 ... 12. Matoaca 40.0 ... 19. Clover Hill 23.0
106: Parker Trahan (BP) d. Nick Sanders (MV) 4-0; 113: Jaden Flores (KEM) d. James Haynie (ATL) 10-7; 120: Ben Rubin (TJS&T) md. Drew Wilkinson (KEM) 10-0; 126: Charlie Lausten (SB) p. Knox Berry (MID) 2:46; 132: Justis Bell (BP) d. Seth Stoddard (FC) 3-2; 138: Liam Harris (ATL) d. T.J. Harris (BP) 9-3; 145: Alex Frowert (ATL) d. Stephen Mainz (BP) 3-1; 152: Colin Bridges (FWC) d. Ethan Baker (GLO) 5-3; 160: Crew Gregory (MID) d. Nicholas Goenner (FC) 7-1; 170: Ashby Berry (MID) p. Thomas Duckworth (BP) 3:00; 182: Anthony Schwartz (MID) d. Daniel Martinez (ATL) 3-1; 195: Willie Headley (PG) md. Bryant Quaye (NS) 15-1; 220: Keyshawn Burgos (MAT) d. Kaden Baker (GR) 8-5; 285: Andrew Blanton (CH) d. Miguel Rijo (PA) 11-4.
1. James W. Robinson 141 ... 19. Cosby 21.5 ... 33. Thomas Dale 0
106: Elijah Cramer (COS) d. Korlan Tran (Lake Braddock) 6-4; 113: Tyler Tanev (Woodbridge) d. Anthony Orlando (Forest Park) 4-2; 120: Mac Cafurello (Centreville) md. Robert Rerras (Westfield) 11-3; 126: Tristan Corbin (JWR) md. Carson Main (Riverbend) 9-0; 132: Joshua Pence (JWR) d. Trenton Campos (OL) 6-4; 138: Jake Crowder (CVL) d. Zachary Ortega (RIVD) 6-4; 145: Samuel Gerard (JWR) p. Jaden Campos (OL) 0:44; 152: Sean Coughlin (West Springfield) d. Esteban Matiella (JWR) 3-0; 160: Brian Gordon (SC) d. Jack Bobeck (FP) 6-2; 170: Liam Gordon (JWR) d. Vincenzo Corvetto (Patriot) 6-2; 182: Charlie Lopez (FP) d. Steven Martinos (SC) 6-3; 195: Jadon Stephens (WDB) d. Abdallah Hussein (WESF) 5-2; 220: Abdullah Mohamed (Justice) d. Landon Church (Franklin County) 8-2; 285: Cooper Rudolph (JWR) d. Jake Thompson (Kellam) 5-2.