Salem is among 12 teams in Highlander Invitational


Glenvar’s Maxx Philpott tries to finish off a pin in last week’s match at James River. PHOTO BY ED MCCOY

Glenvar High School will play host to the annual Highlander Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, and 12 teams are entered in the double-elimination tourney.

The tournament will begin at 9 am with doors opening at 8 am. The championship round is expected to begin around 4 pm.

The Highlanders have rounded up some strong competition once again. In addition to the two local schools the field will include Chatham, Rural Retreat, James River, Grayson County, Covington, Parry McCluer, Graham, Wilson Memorial, Randolph Henry and Holston.

“We expect to have a good showing,” said Salem coach Lawrence Van Liew. “The season is winding down with conference the following weekend. This is the point in the season where wrestlers are starting to peak, and I can’t wait to see how we do.”

The Salem team is coming off an appearance in the annual “Big Blue” tournament, held at Christiansburg High School last weekend. The host Blue Demons won the tournament by over 100 points over second place Poquoson in a strong field of 20 schools. Salem finished 12th.

“We wrestled despite being slightly beat up at the Big Blue tournament,” said coach Lawrence Van Liew.

Salem had three wrestlers place. Alex Royston took a second at 113 and went 3-1. Tae Hale, at 220, took a seventh place, as did Jeremy Muncy at 106. Both went 3-2 on the weekend.

Meanwhile Glenvar placed fourth out of 13 schools at the Rural Retreat Invitational.

“We were able to get three wrestlers into the finals and three into the consolation finals,” said coach Stan Malek.  “We were in third heading into the finals, but coming up short in each of the finals matches pushed us back to fourth.  I set the goal for a top five finish in the tournament and the wrestlers delivered.  We certainly have room for improvement, but they showed a lot of heart during the tournament.”

Glenvar had three seconds, Teon Vu at 113, Christian Smith at 145 and Maxx Philpott at 285. Tanner Speight, at 106, and Caleb Shelton, at 120, both took thirds and Brandon Saunders was fourth at 182.

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