SALEM — Three wrestlers from Stuarts Draft High School took runner-up honors at the Class 2 Wrestling Tournament held Monday at the Salem Civic Center.
Asher Coffey, Kyle Coffey and Connor McCall all wrestled their way to the finals, picking up wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
“I was a little disappointed in the finals, but all told we had a pretty good tournament,” said SDHS wrestling coach Abe Mikell.
In one of the most exciting matches of the day, Lebanon’s Cole Jessee edged Asher Coffey 3-2 in the 152-lb. title bout after Coffey had scored a takedown earlier in the third period. Coffey finished his career at the Draft with a 112-26 record.
After drawing a quarterfinal bye, Kyle Coffey, in his first season on the varsity mat for the Cougars, advanced to the finals with a second-round pin over James River senior Addison McCaleb.
But then the Cougar freshman faced the dubious task of facing three-time state champ Justin Fritz of Graham and was pinned in the first round of the 182-lb. weight class.
Finally, McCall, a junior, went up against Tazewell’s Josh Herndon in the heavyweight final and suffered a second-round pin.
Earlier, McCall pinned Amelia’s William Wilson in the first round and took just 47 seconds to pin Central’s Austin Clevinger in the semifinals.
“Three in the finals; that’s the most I’ve had,” Mikell said.
Stuarts Draft finished seventh overall with 58 team points. Junior Jaylee Hatcher also competed for the Cougars in the 113-lb. class.
All five Buffalo Gap wrestlers medaled (sixth or better).
Jefferey Hildebrand and Mark Yoder each finished fourth overall in the 160 and 170 classes respectively.
Also placing for the Bison were Andrew Richardson in fifth at 220 pounds, Jesse Abshire in sixth at 138 and Bryce Hildebrand at 145.
In another very close match, Yoder was edged out in the semifinals (12-10) by eventual state runner-up Fisher Martin of Lebanon. Yoder scored a late third-period takedown to pull within two points of Martin, but ran out of time trying to complete the pin.
“I thought we might be able to sneak out some more wins,” said third-year BGHS coach A.J. Dobzeniecki. “I was happy we were that close. We had all five wrestlers here medal.
The Bison finished with a total of 42 points.
Next season, the Gap will move down to Class 1 competition (due to smaller enrollment).
Poquoson won the team championship.