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Sports · February 9, 2015

Eight county wrestlers take conference crowns

Photo/Debora Johnson Franklin
Fauquier's defending 4A state champion Matt Raines (138) wins 13-0 major decision over Chancellor's Mark Weinstock in Saturday's Conference 22 tournament. The pair met last year in the state finals with Raines coming out on top. The Falcons won the team competition too - for the ninth time in 10 years.
Photo/Debora Johnson Franklin
Falcons 285-pound wrestler Tommy Palmer had all he could take against Julian Sams of Liberty in their Conference 22 semifinal bout Saturday. Palmer won a 1-0 decision before winning the championship against Eastern View's James Layher.
Photo/Debora Johnson Franklin
Fauquier's Eric Lemus won a sudden victory over Eastern View's Kyle Jenkins in a 182-lb. semifinal bout Saturday. Lemus lost his championship bout to Liberty's Rico Bumbrey - the Eagles only championship.
Photo/Debora Johnson Franklin
Members, coaches and staff of Fauquier's wrestling team celebrate Saturday after winning the Conference 22 team championship. The Falcons will send 13 wrestlers to 4A North regional later this week while cross-county rival Liberty sends 12.
(Liberty wrestler) Rico (Bumbrey) brings a smile to my face every time I see him on the mat because that kid has overcome a lot of things in his short life and in wrestling.
— Liberty wrestling Coach Wes Hawkins
Photos by Debora Johnson Franklin

Matt Raines faced an old nemesis Saturday in the finals of the Conference 22 wrestling tournament.

The Fauquier senior crouched low in stance waiting for Chancellor’s Mark Weinstock to meet him in the center of the mat for the 138-pound bout.

The pair met under similar circumstances a year ago in Salem at the 4A state meet. There, Raines pinned the Charger in 3:02.

Saturday, he had an easier time, winning a 13-0 major decision to capture the class.

“Matt continues to be a consistent scorer for us,” Fauquier Coach Doug Fisher said.

Raines, who tallied 21 team points, will have company on the road to Salem.

Twelve teammates qualified for the 4A North regional, scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday at Amherst County High School, outside Lynchburg.

Liberty also will send a strong contingent to Amherst for the next round as 12 Eagles qualified.

The Falcons won the team competition, scoring 252.5 points. Eastern View took second with 210 points followed by Liberty with 190.5 points.

King George’s 126.5 points placed the Foxes a distant fourth while Chancellor took fifth (104.5 points) and Courtland, last with 89 points.

Two other Fauquier state champions also won Saturday.

Daniel Ariola won at 113-lbs. last year. This year, he won the conference title at 120, beating King George’s Kraig Johnson on a 5-1 decision.

“It was nice seeing Daniel getting back on track,” Coach Fisher said.

Garrett Tingen also moved from 145 to 152 and the extra weight didn’t phase the junior.

“Garrett is wrestling with more focus,” Coach Fisher said.

Tingen led the team in scoring with 24 points.

He scored points for a bye in the quarterfinals and falls in the semis and finals against Liberty’s Steven Halsey and Eastern View’s Kaden Woodward.

“Matt, Daniel and Garrett certainly led the way,” Coach Fisher said. "And Matt and Garrett have really been key to our team's success as they push the rest of the group to do better, work more, and work harder.”

Four other Fauquier wrestlers won championships, including Ty Foster (113), Clifford Harrison (160), Vito Camarca (170) and Andrew Smith at 195.
Losing in the championship round to finish second included Falcons Kyle Budd (106), Camden Frankin (126), Kyle Roche (132), Eric Lemus (182) and Thomas Palmer, 285.

Trevor Marable earned a disqualification at 145 when he head-dropped Chancellor’s Joe Kreider to the mat.

Visually upset by the error, Marable pained to see his opponent lie motionless on the mat. He accepted the punishment before walking off.

Marable still took fourth and will wrestle again Friday.

“Anyone who knows Trevor, knows that he has absolutely no malicious intent in anything that he does,” Coach Fisher said. “He certainly made a huge judgment error by returning the Chancellor wrestler to the mat the way he did. He was easily winning the match and there was no need to even pick the kid up and chance returning him improperly.

“He dug himself into a hole by coming out of the conference as a 4th-placer. He will have no room for error this weekend.”

Liberty’s only championship came at 182 when Rico Bumbrey beat Lemus on a 3-2 decision.

Referees halted play three times so trainers could work on a bloodied nose but the match was over before the Eagle suffered a blood disqualification.

“Rico brings a smile to my face every time I see him on the mat because that kid has overcome a lot of things in his short life and in wrestling,” Liberty Coach Wes Hawkins said.

Losing championship bouts and settling for second-place finishes included Cameron Yates (160) and Tyler Raymond, 220.

Yates lost to Fauquier’s Clifford Harrison on a 5-0 decision while Raymond fell via a 2:45 fall to Eastern View’s Cullen Burnett.

Liberty finished with seven wrestlers who won consolation finals.

Two seniors, Marc Ramirez (106) and Halsey led the grouping.

Sophomore Cordell Smith (170) along with freshmen Ricky Ryan (113), Jordan Florence (132), Dylan Bryant (195) and Julian Sams (285) completed the
contingent.

“All and all we did good, what we were supposed to do on paper but there was two big matches in the semifinals we lost,” Coach Hawkins said. “It would have
been upsets for Cordell and Julian to win but if they had, it would have put them into the finals at 170 and 285. It would have put us over the top mentally and as a team.”

But Coach Hawkins added both are young and they’ll come together during practice this week, at regionals this weekend and in the years to come.

The last Eagles in regionals include senior Jayson Cody (120) and sophomore Patrick Ewell (138), who lost consolation finals.

“Patrick’s only been wrestling two years,” Coach Hawkins said. “He had a pretty good match against Raines (8-2 decision). We’d like to wrestle 60 kids like
Raines. A year with kids like Raines and we’d be a better team.

“Raines is just a tough kid that knows where and how to wrestle on the mat.”

Eastern View matched Fauquier’s regional allotment with 13 wrestlers moving on.

The Cyclones had four conference champions including two-time state champion Bryan Ramey (132) and Matt Laird (145), Burnett and James Layher.

Chancellor will send seven to Amherst while Courtland and King George will each send five.

The Cougars and the Foxes each had a champion.

“I thought in general, we had a successful team effort at conference,” Coach Fisher said. “The Region will be tough again this year. I expect it will be similar to last year in the sense that our North region will be substantially better based on the final state placements of teams and individuals.

“That will make it tougher for us to maximize our state qualifiers. We will need a really solid effort to be successful at the region tournament as a team, and also get the kind of numbers that will be required to have shot at a team title at VA 4A States.”

Coach Fisher added the Falcons really want to win this weekend.

“The region title eluded us last year, but I think we have as good a shot at it as anyone else,” Coach Fisher said.
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