|Northumberland had four medal winners at the Region 1A East tournament. Medal winners and coaches from left are (front row) Billy Pipkin and Kevin Hanks; (next row) coach Stephen Scripture, Philip Harrison, Austin Kent and coach Chris Simmons. Photo by Billy Pipkin
Both the Red Devils and Indians produced a Region 1A East champion at last weekend's tournament at Parry McCluer in Buena Vista.
The Indian grapplers took sixth among 13 teams at the regional tournament, while Lancaster finished ninth. Northampton won the 1A East team championship and Mathews finished second.
Sam Bouis of Lancaster received a first-round bye, then turned in three pins to go 3-0 as the champion among heavyweights. Bouis, who is now 27-1 on the season, pinned Wyatt Asbury of Northumberland in the quarterfinals, then took down Terrance Hall of Essex in the finals before pinning Washington & Lee's Marquis Thompson for the championship.
"Sam has compiled a lot of victories this season and I'm confident that he's going to carry that winning into the state tournament," said LHS coach Craig Oren.
Kevin Hanks brought home a gold medal for the Indians in the 138-pound weight class. Northumberland also had a runner-up in the 170 division in Austin Kent.
Lancaster's Shane Chambers went 2-1 in the tourney, losing to David Smooch of Rappahannock County in the finals of the 182-pound division. Chambers beat Northumberland's Philip Harrison in the semifinals and had a tech fall of Nick Brown of Washington & Lee in the quarterfinals.
Harrison of Northumberland also will advance to the state tournament with a third-place regional finish among 182 pounders.
"Shane's drive continues to impress me," said Oren. "He's been wrestling with a torn ACL but somehow continues to come up with some big wins."
Lancaster's Kenique Stewart also finished as a regional runner-up after losing to Allen Killibrew of Northampton in the 145-pound championship. Stewart "wrestled a really good semifinal match," said Oren. "And was leading in the final when he got out of position and was pinned."
Stewart beat Amrig Tamang of Rappahannock County in the semifinals.
Lancaster had one third-place wrestler in 160-pounder Grant Long and Northumberland had two third-place wrestlers in Billy Pipkin, at 126, and Harrison.
Thomas Hyde and Trevor Smith both finished fourth for Lancaster to qualify for state. Hyde was fourth among 170-pounders, while Smith was fourth in the 126-pound division. Smith had two pins before losing to the two-time returning state champion and then losing in the third-place match to Pipkin.
"Qualifying for state as a freshman is quite an accomplishment," Oren said of Smith. "And as for Grant and Thomas, those two guys had tough losses pretty early in the tournament. They could have packed it in, but they rebounded with vigor and didn't let it distract them from their goal of qualifying."
Northumberland will also send fifth-place finishers Aaron Curry and Tyler Costley to the state meet. Curry was fifth in the 145 division and Costley fifth among 132-pounders.
Lancaster took 12 wrestlers to the division 1A East tournament with six qualifying for state.
"Our guys competed well this weekend," said LHS assistant coach Sam Terry. "We have a young team which will only improve next year. In the meantime, I am very proud of our wrestlers."