Prince William News
Thu., Dec. 13 - bhs-wrestlers-win-nova-classic
BHS wrestlers win NOVA Classic
© Gainesville TimesRemember that Cedar Run District crown the Battlefield wrestling team claimed 10 months ago?
It wasn't a fluke.
At Fairfax High School this past weekend, the Bobcats won the NOVA Classic tournament with 194 points.
Centerville and usual Group AA powerhouse Fauquier finished tied for second with 180 points while Paul VI (154.5) and Lake Braddock (151.5) rounded out the top five.
For Battlefield, three veterans ended up claiming first place: sophomore Matt Asper (106 pounds), junior Justus Weaver (145) and senior Alex Thomas (170).
Six others placed in the top eight for their weight classes, including heavyweight Lee Ferrill, who took third place in the 285-pound division.
Battlefield's next best finish came from Chase Richardson earning fourth in the 160-pound division. Alex Shrauder (113 pounds) brought in fifth while Calvin Nisson (126) captured seventh.
Roberto Aguilar (132) and Ray Bernot (152) both ended up eighth.
The significance of the team's victory is that is marks only the third time ever that Battlefield won a tournament outright, according to third-year head coach Brian Shaffer.
It's the first one since the half-point district win in February.
"We're getting guys that really know our system," said Shaffer.
Assistant coach Doug White offered a run-down for what makes each of the three winners tick, beginning with the sophomore Asper.
"He acts like one of the older guys," said White of the 2011-2012 Cedar Run District champion of the 106-pound weight class.
Asper is known for keeping his same intense composure for an entire tournament.
White suggests that rather than relax at some point, Asper would be like an actor on a movie set that stays in character even when off the set.
"He wants to stay in that mood the entire time," he said.
Asper trains with both heavier teammates up into the 120s but also someone closer to his weight range in former track runner Zach Muniz, who White described as "really fast" and "athletic."
That works well for Asper, given that he ran cross country this season himself.
In fact, one of the attributes for the 2012-2013 Bobcats is that the depth chart for the team is substantial, all the way to the point that Battlefield could afford to make cuts this season.
"We've got plenty of athletes in every weight class. It's all around a great benefit to wrestle with different weight classes," said White.
As for the other two winners, the assistant coach explained that Weaver brings an unorthodox approach to the mat sometimes, "but many does he make it exciting."
Thomas, meanwhile, entered the season with "some weight cutting to do," cutting out carbohydrates from his diet while focusing more on meat, water, fruits and vegetables, according to White.
The payoff clearly showed in the results from Friday and Saturday on the mat.
Collectively, the Bobcat leaders are "very mature about taking care of their weight regiment," he added.
Two up-and-comers to watch, according to White, are the freshmen Bernot and Aguilar.
Aguliar may "win states later in his career," said the assistant coach, while Bernot showcases a "great attitude" while "understanding that he's going to grow."
Growth is a key for any team, but what benefits Battlefield perhaps more than other schools is that its feeder programs from both the middle school level and local clubs are keeping a strong supply of athletes circulating through the Dominion Valley high school.
Both Bull Run Middle School and the Haymarket Hurricanes are among other groups turning out the talent, according to both coaches.
"You're getting a lot of kids that have the fundamentals" before high school, said Shaffer.
"We're expecting some really great stuff," White added. "We're really building quite a program."