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Forest Park Finishes Second, Battlefield Fourth in NW Wrestling

For every talented wrestler, there are major decisions, pins, and tech. falls aplenty. Then there are those moments that define a high school wrestling career. Battlefield’s Justus Weaver believes he experienced the latter Saturday at the Northwest Regional tournament at Patriot High School.

Forest Park Finishes Second, Battlefield Fourth in NW Wrestling

For every talented wrestler, there are major decisions, pins, and tech. falls aplenty. Then there are those moments that define a high school wrestling career.

Battlefield’s Justus Weaver believes he experienced the latter Saturday at the Northwest Regional tournament at Patriot High School. After dominating his 145-pound final with Freedom-South Riding’s Andy Hinrichs, he sought out a pack of Bobcat teammates parked in the first few rows of the bleachers.

They mobbed Weaver in celebratory fashion.

“Going over to my teammates was probably the happiest moment of my high school career,” said Weaver. “All I heard before I started my match was chants from my team. It’s a great feeling when you have a great fan base behind you, great teammates.”

Battlefield coach Brian Shaffer noted that his program has made tangible strides in the past few years, improving from 11th in 2012’s regional to 4th Saturday.

“Our program’s come a long way in just three years now,” said Shaffer. “I’m proud of our guys, and I think we’re doing well.”

Along with Weaver, the Bobcats sole regional champ, Matt Asper, Alec Shrauder, and Caleb Peltzer will advance to next week’s AAA state tournament in Chesapeake at Oscar Smith High School.

Osbourn Park’s Sean Badua won the title at 113, pinning Shrauder in 3:22.

Badua’s goal was to avoid the hesitation and tightness inherent with the pressures of a big match.

“The gameplan, when I was talking it over with my coach before the match, was just to go out and open up,” said Badua. “A lot of times when I’m in finals, big pressure situations, I’m kind of hesitant, and I don’t move or open up as much. He [coach Mike Spudic] said to go out there, make it a normal match, and go out and take your shots.”

Alex Gowers, who finished fourth in the 160-pound class, heads to states with Badua.

Four Forest Park wrestlers won titles: Tommy Aloi at 106, Dennis Gustafson at 132, Brett Stein at 170, and Hayden Mosher at 195. In all, the Bruins will send seven wrestlers to states.

After an unspectacular Friday that left that the Bruins in the middle of the pack, coach Seth Cameron was pleased to see his team in sole possession of second place behind Colonial Forge as the tournament drew to a close.

“We didn’t wrestle bad,” said Cameron. “Not every call went our way sometimes, and we didn’t win every match I thought we would.”

Hylton will send three wrestlers to states: Casey Bowers, Codie Bowers, and Lawrence Hunt, who all lost in final bouts.

Woodbridge’s lone representative to qualify for states, heavyweight Da’Shawn Hand, dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision in overtime to Orange’s Billy Knabe. Hand appeared primed for a pin in the third, but took down Knabe just inches outside the boundary line. Hand declined comment following the bout.

Meanwhile in Group AA action during the Region II championship at John Champe High School in Aldie, two wrestlers from Brentsville District brought golds back home to Nokesville.

Junior Jeffrey Walker won the 106-pound title by defeating Dominion's Brandon Thein. His senior teammate Zach Roseberry followed up with a victory of his own in the 195-pound bracket over Zach Causey of Potomac Falls.

The Region II state championship is set to be held Feb. 15 and 16 in southwestern Virginia at the Salem Civic Center.

Northwest Regional Team Results
Colonial Forge 235.5
Forest Park 193
Franklin County 144
Battlefield 120.5
Orange 100.5
Osbourn Park 87
Mountain View 81
Hylton 77
Freedom-South Riding 74.5
Patrick Henry 74
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