High school wrestlers in holiday tournaments

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Every kid’s favorite heavyweight, Santa Claus, pins the “Grinch” in an exhibition match at Lord Botetourt last week.
PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

The local high school wrestlers had to watch their weight over Christmas with tournaments scheduled for this week. Glenvar will participate in the Grundy Invitational and the Salem High wrestlers are in the Big Orange at William Byrd High School.

This is a new time for the Big Orange. The tournament was traditionally held on the last weekend in January, but bad weather has been the norm and the tournament was also competing against some other events. Vinton officials thought the Christmas break, when the kids are out of school, would be a better time.

“I think it’s a better fit for the school,” said William Byrd coach Thomas Kessler. “We don’t have to worry about working around classes since school isn’t in session, and I feel like we can attract more teams at this time. Also, it’s snowed the past two years and maybe we can avoid that. I sure hope so.”

Glenvar’s Brandon Saunders tries to escape the hold of Lord Botetourt’s Jacob Booth
in last week’s tri-match in Daleville.

Wrestling will begin Friday at 10:30 am and go until 8 pm Friday night. It will pick back up Saturday at 10:30 am and go until the finals, which are tentatively scheduled for 3:30 pm.

This year’s participants, in addition to Salem and host William Byrd, will be Franklin County, Brookville, Blacksburg, Pulaski County, Northside, Radford, Rustburg, Lord Botetourt,  Hidden Valley, Roanoke Catholic, Martinsville, Liberty, Poquoson, Rockbridge County, Liberty Christian Academy, Bassett and Heritage.

The Spartans haven’t wrestled since the Cave Spring “Knights of the Round Table” tournament on December 15 and 16. Glenvar wrestled in a tri-match with Lord Botetourt and James River at LB on December 20. The Highlanders, who had several forfeits, lost a 33-30 decision to James River and also lost to LB.