Prince William News
Sun., Jan. 13 - bhs-wrestlers-sweep-annandale-tournament
BHS wrestlers sweep Annandale tournament
© Gainesville TimesSometimes the best defense isn't just a good offense.
It's complete annihilation.
The Battlefield varsity wrestling team made a statement this past Saturday as the Bobcats prepare to defend their Cedar Run District title next month by sweeping all five opponents they faced during a tournament at Annandale High School.
Battlefield more than doubled the score against four teams, including two lopsided victories: 67-7 against the host team in the first round and 58-7 over North Stafford in round three.
Round two marked the only time all tournament any team held the Bobcats under 50 point. Even then, however, Battlefield still topped Loudoun Valley 48-25.
The fourth round went to Battlefield by a 51-21 margin over Hayfield, leading to the Bobcats cruising past Lake Braddock 52-23 in the championship.
It marks the second time this year that the team from Haymarket claimed a tournament title and came the same week after the Bobcats topped Stonewall Jackson 67-9 and Freedom (South Riding) 42-21 during the Jan. 9 district duals at Broad Run High School.
Particularly of note from the Annandale meet is that 106-pound sophomore Matt Asper remained undefeated for the season, collecting five wins to put his record at 27-0.
Asper and teammates Justus Weaver (18-2 overall) and Alex Thomas (22-2 overall) all qualified for states during the 2012-2013 season but none of them won more than one match there.
According to Battlefield head coach Brian Shaffer, Asper is a more mature, sound wrestler in his second season, a natural byproduct of him routinely facing off against opponents aged 17 and 18 as a 14-year-old freshman.
He demonstrated his growth in a big way this year by defeating an opponent from Colonial Forge.
The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the state Group AAA division by VirginiaWrestling.com and have won four of the last six state titles, including one last season.
"He's one of the ones that you don't have to do much for" as a coach, said Shaffer about Asper.
What is making the sophomore more effective to Shaffer is that he can "attack from both sides" of an opponent with strength now instead of relying on a single-leg approach.
Meanwhile, the "very athletic" 145-pounder Weaver is still bringing a unique style to the mat that at first may seem unorthodox but is actually practiced, according to the coach.
"A lot of times, he does things that you don't necessarily teach," said Shaffer. "(He) spends a tremendous amount of time working on it."
That's just not on the mat either.
Shaffer said the junior is putting in considerable time to other aspects to the game, ranging from film study to the weight room
To the coach, that comes in contrast to other athletes who may have "tremendous" abilities but "don't work that hard."
Meanwhile, senior twin brothers Andrew Thomas (182 pounds) and Alex Thomas (170 pounds) are also both on track to make a potentially strong showing during the post-season.
Shaffer also named Alec Shrauder (113 pounds) and heavyweight Lee Ferrill, and 132-pounders Caleb Peltzer and Roberto Aguliar (132 pounds), the latter of whom won the Battle of the Bridge tournament, as wrestlers to watch as the post-season draws near.
Something will have to give between Peltzer and Aguliar though, meaning one will need to drop or step up a weight class, which could put pressure on other Battlefield members in order to retain their own spots.
"We've got some guys there but those are the good problems," said Shaffer.
As of December, VirginiaWrestling.com ranked Battlefield No. 10 in the state with traditional powerhouse Colonial Forge leading the pack.
Coming up on the schedule are district dual matches on Jan. 16 at Patriot, Jan. 18-19) at Loudoun Valley and Jan. 25 at home before a one-on-one bout with Forest Park, the No. 7 school in the state, on Jan. 26.
The Cedar Run District tournament is slated for Feb. 2 with regions and states following each week afterward.