Western Tidewater wrestling readies to face off in the circle

Published 8:35 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jack Sykes, left, faces off against Nathan Jones, a helper. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Jack Sykes, left, faces off against Nathan Jones, a helper. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—The Franklin and Southampton school wrestling teams are looking to place in the top of their division.

Franklin has started the season 3-3, while Southampton is 2-1. Southampton will next play at home against Franklin on Wednesday, Jan. 8, while Franklin will participate in the Mathews Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 4. On Saturday, Jan. 11, both teams will participate in the MBM Duals in Franklin, starting at 9:30 a.m.


The Broncos

Franklin started off the season with a loss to Hertford, N.C., 30-53, and won 3 and lost 2 at the Lancaster Tournament, said assistant coach Sumner Bradshaw.

At the Lancaster Tournament, Shane Walker and Jack Sykes each brought back a gold medal; Cheyenne Banks, Anthony Davis and Laquadric Pittman brought home silver medals; and Lauren Sheehy, Bennie Jones and Khiry Reese brought home three bronze medals.

Bradshaw said that Walker and Sykes, a sophomore, were undefeated so far at 5-0 and 6-0 respectively.

“I want to go to states and win it — for everybody,” said Walker, a senior captain. “We’ve got the talent, we just have to work in practice. We have to pay attention and stay focused.”

Banks, also a senior captain, added that she is also focused on going to the state tournament.

“I want to get in better shape, and learn more techniques,” she said.

Head Coach Daniel Johnson said he is positive about placing high in the division.

“We’ve got a good core of athletes,” he said. “We just need to get them in, and get them into wrestling shape and drill the techniques. I think we are going to be all right.”

Johnson said one problem is that they are starting late, as other teams have been practicing for about a month. He added that starting late was a good thing, as it was due to the playoff run of the football team.

“It takes a while to get into wrestling shape,” he said. “But I think we will have a good season. The kids are coming to practice and working hard.”

Franklin will finish out the month at Northumberland on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Mathews for Duals; at their home gym to face Southampton and Sussex on Tuesday, Jan. 28, starting at 6 p.m.; and also at home on Thursday, Jan. 30 to face Hertford County and King & Queen at 6 p.m.

They will have two matches in February, both on the road at Cumberland on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and at Northampton on Thursday, Feb. 6.

The Regional Tournament is Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15. The State Tournament is Feb. 21-22.


The Indians

Southampton started off the season with an individual tournament at Colonial Heights on Dec. 7, where Sam McDonald, senior, finished first at 195; senior Devine Fenner finished second at 152; and Tim Mason, junior, finished third at 145.

On Dec. 18, they traveled to Norfolk for the Norfolk Collegiate Tournament, where they defeated Norfolk Christian 45-38, lost to Norfolk Collegiate 45-36 and beat I.C. Norcom 45-35, said Head Coach Tim Mason, who is not related to the student athlete Tim Mason.

Mason, who coached wrestling for 18 years, said this was his first year back in the sport after a six-year absence. Most of his team is new to the sport, but he’s hoping to get McDonald, Fenner and Tim Mason to the state tournament.

“Sam, Devine and Tim, those are the three guys that have the most experience,” he said. “I’m trying to get them as much wrestling time as possible. They are pretty tough wrestlers.”

For the other members of the team, Mason is planning to teach them the sport and get the best out of them that he can.

“Most of the other kids are brand new to the sport. It’s not an easy sport to learn. It is individualized, and there are complicated moves and techniques for a young wrestler to learn. It’ll be a continual learning process for the young guys, so I hope to get them some mat time to learn the sport.”

Southampton will round out January at a tournament at Norfolk Collegiate on Friday, Jan. 24 starting at 5 p.m.; and will face Franklin and Sussex at Franklin on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m.

The Conference 25 Tournament begins on Feb. 8.