The Patrick County High School Cougar wrestling team traveled to Turner Ashby High School this past Friday and Saturday to compete in the Region 3A West Wrestling Championships.
The Cougars had five individuals that qualified for this tournament by placing in the top-four in Conference 32 action last week. Representing Patrick County were Brian Lange at 106, Ethan Rorrer at 126, Tyler Stanley at 152, Hunter Kenyon at 195, and Devin Bain at heavy weight.
The first day of competition left three wrestlers still fighting for the chance to represent Patrick County at the State Tournament in Salem.
“Last year the state team champion as well as the state team runner-up came out of Conference 32; that is an amazing feat for this conference, and I think most anyone around the state would have to say that this conference, for our sport, is as tough as they come,” said Coach David Morrison.
”Making it out of our conference is a task in itself, and after you finish with our conference you move on to Region 3A West where we get to see those same Conference 32 teams plus a strong handful of the state’s best wrestling teams from Conferences 29, 30, and 31. It really is an awesome experience. What our young men have been able to do this season is remarkable and anyone that has had the chance to experience Conference 32 wrestling knows what I am talking about,” Morrison said.
All three remaining Cougars, Lange, Stanley and Bain, defeated their Round 1 consolation opponents, making it to day two.
Saturday would hold early heartbreak for Stanley and Bain as they lost hard-fought matches to tough opponents from Brookville and Staunton River, respectively.
Lange won against his Lord Botetourt opponent with a 14-2 major decision and continued to get stronger as the day went on, defeating his Turner Ashby opponent by fall and his Western Albemarle opponent by major decision, 12-1 to punch his ticket to the state tournament in Salem next weekend. In his final match of the tournament, Lange was rerolled and caught in an unexpected turn and fell to his Staunton River opponent.
“For the most part, Brian seemed to get stronger as the tournament went on, and it showed up in a big way when it mattered most; he just got caught in his last match, a match he was winning at the time,” Morrison said. “He faced some really tough competition and was able to rise to the occasion; he really represented his county well,” he added.
“If you want to see what a road map for success in athletics of any kind looks like, you just need to take a look at what Brian has done and is continuing to do. He is a multi-sport athlete who played football in the fall, he works out regularly, takes his training seriously, never misses practice, is never late and does what the coaches have him do without hesitation,” Morrison said. “That’s not just a formula for success in wrestling, that’s the formula across the board.
“Brian is doing some amazing stuff at a young age; the young man is a sophomore and has a couple of solid years and a bright future left ahead of him—another great opportunity next weekend at the state tournament,” Morrison said.
“We are all really proud of Brian and the entire team’s efforts this season. We as a coaching staff are blessed to work with these great young kids in this county and look forward to continuing to expand our program in the future and help guide many, many more young people, like Brian, to future success both on and off the mat,” Morrison said.