Local wrestlers finish in states

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The high school wrestling season has come to an end for Franklin and Southampton in their respective state meets.

Franklin High School’s Isiah Hudson, wrestling at 160 pounds, took fifth place in the Virginia High School League Group A wrestling championships at the Salem Civic Center this weekend. Hudson, who won four of his six matches, was the lone Franklin wrestler of five to earn a medal in the competition.

“The first guy he lost to from Radford County, he ended up winning the whole tournament,” said Franklin head coach Daniel Johnson. “The second guy he lost to was ranked No. 1 in the state.”

The other four wrestlers, Antwan Flythe (130), Emmett Artis (145), Tyler Childress (171), and Anthony Fulgham (103), all won at least one match during the tournament.

“Anthony Fulgham (a freshman) was a fourth seed and ended up winning one match. He has a bright future ahead of him,” Johnson said.

Three Southampton wrestlers participated in the Group AA championships, also in Salem. At 189 pounds, Dashawn Barner won his first round match, then fell in the next round. Calvin Stringfield at 215 and Corey Johnson at heavyweight both lost in the first round.

The week before, Johnson placed 4th at the Western Sectional at King George and rallied to place 4th at the Region I Wrestling Championships at Tabb High School. Corey, who is a small heavyweight at only 205 pounds, has been wrestling bigger opponents the past two seasons to fill the spot at heavyweight.

“The trick I told Corey was that he had to be smarter than his opponents and use his speed and his opponents size against them.

“Corey is naturally strong up top and that helps him a great deal against the larger opponents. Corey has definitely grown in wrestling knowledge by leaps and bounds.”

Barner placed 1st in the Western Sectional and 2nd in the Region I wrestling championship.

“Dashawn is definitely one of the most complete wrestlers I have seen from around here in a long time. He definitely has all the tools to do well at the state competition,” said Coach Johnnie McKeller. “His top and bottom game is unparalleled and definitely gives me a run for my money in practice.”

Stringfield has taken a different path to becoming a tough wrestler. “He sat last season out because of injuries, but he used that time to actually sit back, look at and analyze the different techniques,” McKeller said.