Fauquier trio begin trek to repeat as champions
File photo/Debora Johnson Franklin
Matt Raines, the de facto leader of Fauquier's wrestling team defeated Chancellor's Mark Weinstock last Saturday to win the 138-lb weight class in the Conference 22 tournament. It was the fourth time Raines had defeated his nemesis in post-season tournaments and the pair likely will meet again Saturday in the 4A North regional championship.
Experience requires a past knowledge in order to improve and to help those there for the first time.
State champion Matt Raines, Fauquier's leader, wrestles in the 138-lb. class for the Falcons.
Garrett Tingen, the Falcons 152-lb. wrestler and returning state champion.
I started the season ‘like I was state champion and didn’t need to train hard to keep it. (I then went out and lost several matches). I started soul searching and realized it’s not easier the second time around. You have to keep pushing yourself and my motivation now are the losses earlier this year.
— Fauquier senior wrestler and state champion Daniel Ariola
For three Fauquier wrestlers, winning state championships last year – and starting their return Friday at the 4A North regionals, it also brings responsibility.
Slacking off in practice, not showing leadership to younger teammates or losing focus of goals are three things Daniel Ariola, Matt Raines and Garrett Tingen realize they need to perfect.
Raines won at 138-pounds last year in Salem and returns in the same class this year.
“We have to stay serious all the time,” Raines said. “We need to be intense and work hard to inspire the others.”
Tingen, who wrestled at 145 a year ago has since moved up in weight to 152.
He says he pushes himself to the limit and beyond.
“Push yourself, push your partner. Repetitions,” Tingen said. “You have to know your goal and you have to let your team know it’s possible for anyone.”
Tingen stressed there’s no difference in the regional match or states and any of the other tournaments the Falcons have participated in this season.
Head Coach Doug Fisher claims the next two matches can be construed as lesser tournaments and challenges his team has already endured.
“Garrett, for example, has already wrestled four top-10 wrestlers in the United States this year,” Coach Fisher said. “Most wrestlers are lucky to meet one in their careers.”
Ariola, who wrestles at 120 and already has signed with Campbell University for the fall, said he’s already experienced the lows of the sport.
“I started the season ‘like I was state champion and didn’t need to train hard to keep it,’” Ariola said.
He then went out and lost several matches.
“I started soul searching and realized it’s not easier the second time around,” Ariola said. “You have to keep pushing yourself and my motivation now are the losses earlier this year.”
Fauquier has seven wrestlers slated No. 1s in the regional, scheduled to begin Friday afternoon at Amherst County High School, north of Lynchburg.
The team also has six more who enter as second, third or fourth seeds.
“Yes, it will be tougher for those not top seeds,” Tingen said. “But if the 1s aren’t careful, we could wind up in the consolation finals.”
Tingen pointed out those coming out of the loser’s bracket have it tougher because they have to wrestle more matches but it can be done.
“Those points are huge,” Tingen said. “A pin in consolations is worth the same as a pin in the championship bracket.”
Coach Fisher believes his team is strong enough this year to win it on the seven wrestlers he has starting out on top.
“We didn’t win regionals last year but I think we can this year with our top seven doing well,” Coach Fisher said.
Liberty High School will have one wrestler, 182-pounder Rico Bumbrey in a No. 1 seed at the tournament.
The Eagles also carry a large contingent into regionals with 12 slated to wrestle in Amherst.
Kettle Run High School travels to New Kent High School, Friday for a weekend 3A East regional.
The Cougars have three champions – Caden Lody (106), Colson Jaynes (160) and Ryan Schwind (195) out of Conference 27 heading to New Kent as part of an 11-member contingent.
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