Team Effort as Fauquier Wins its 13th District Championship
On Saturday February 3rd the Fauquier wrestling team participated in the 2018 Northwestern District Wrestling Championship and came home with the first-place trophy for the 13th time in school history.
Not too sure if there are any other Fauquier County High School athletic sports programs that have won a District Championship 13 times, but after taking second place to Liberty HS last season (2017) Fauquier needed points from every wrestler to achieve and become the 2018 District Champions.
A similar path from a season ago had Liberty on top of the leader board through all five of the District wrestling rounds on Saturday. But halfway through the 2018 Championship Finals after Fauquier 145lbs Joe Del Gallo won a 7-5 decision over Ricky Ryan (Liberty), team Fauquier finally leaped over the Eagles to take the lead.
But through the remaining Final Championship matches the leader board would switch four more times between Fauquier and Liberty.
It was not over until the 220lbs Championship Finals where Tyler Raymond of Fauquier who is better known as T-Man won the Finals and lifted Fauquier to 210.5 points over Liberty’s 209 points.
Even though Liberty had another wrestler on deck at the 285lbs weight class, a loss by Liberty’s Julius Sams at 285lbs had Fauquier recapturing the District title for the 13th time in school history.
Yes, 210.5 points over Liberty’s 209 points was the difference of 1.5-points. You may scratch your head and wonder about the half point, but in the sport of a wrestling, tournament events will award a wrestler a point and 1/2 by a Technical Fall which is earned by winning a match by 15 or more match points.
Total Team Effort
To win the 2018 Northwestern District Championships it was necessary for every Falcon to earn team points. I could start by talking about the finalists and the wrestlers that earned first place but in this case, I'm going to start by discussing the four wrestlers that took home 5th and 6th place respectively.
106lbs Nolan McEachin placed 6th. Nolan went 1-3 and after losing his first match he bounced back in the first round of the consolation and won by a pin over Pablo Patricio (Sherando) (Fall 0:50).
This pin by Nolan gave Fauquier two team points plus one advancement point for a total of three points. But even though Nolan lost his next two matches, he received three more placement team points for a total six points for 6th place.
If Nolan had not earned a pin (+2 team points) in this first round consolation match, team Fauquier would not have captured the District Championship. Again, team Fauquier won the District by 1.5-points.
Fauquier’s 285lbs Tommy Heisler went 1-2, took 5th place and was the only Fauquier wrestler that currently is an alternate to the Regional Championships. Tommy would be eligible for Regionals play only if any of the top four Regionals placers become scratched.
Like Nolan McEachin, Tommy earned a pin in the Consolations over Nate Carter (John Handley) (Fall 0:39). Tommy earned 5th placement points for a total of 7 points.
Again, if Tommy had not earned a pin which gave 2 team points to Fauquier’s team score and a win for 5th place, team Fauquier would not have captured the District Championship.
As for 113lbs Alex Bautista and 138lbs Eric Dewald both went 0-3 but earned a bye in the first round of the Consolations which also gave both wrestlers 3 points for advancing and placing 6th place.
As the tournament concluded all the rounds leading up to the Championship Finals Coach Fisher took steps to question the team scores.
After a brief meeting it was noted that team scores were being calculated inaccurately.
What transpired then was a simple and easy fix by changing the scoring program setup. After a simple fix, most teams scores dropped a few points. What was a lead of 5.5 points by Liberty over Fauquier shrunk to a 3.5 team points lead. This scoring error difference was clearly 2 team points.
A look back to the 2014 Conference Championship hosted by Eastern View HS had a similar issue where the tournament came to a stop as the tournament scoring program was not set up correctly.
Also, in 2013 and a few days after the Evergreen District was over and Fauquier came in second place to Brentsville HS with 162 points to Fauquier 161 points final team score, it was found that a first round match was not recorded correctly as a Technical Fall but rather as a Decision.
As the District Championships were hosted by Liberty HS in 2013, six years later they hosted the District Championships again with a scoring error that could had played a factor in the true District Championship winner if it had not been identified and corrected.
A misfortune in 2013 turned out to be an important correction on Saturday. Simply put if Coach Fisher did not address and have the tournament director review the NW District scoring error before the Finals, the true winning team would not have captured the District Championships.
Three Falcons Earn Third Place
Although 152 Darryl Mayfield, 160 Kevin McEachin, 195 Casey Burr all lost in the Championships side of the bracket, they all three worked hard to earn team points and take a 3rd place finish and advance to the Regional Championships.
One key matchup was Darryl Mayfield (Fauquier) in the Consolation Finals with a 9-3 decision win over Caleb Swinson (Liberty).
Team Fauquier had a total of eight head-to-head matches with Liberty as they went 6 and 2 winning those battles.
Review of the Championship Finals
Team Fauquier pushed seven wrestlers into the District Finals and Liberty matched that amount. As Fauquier went 6-1 in the Finals Liberty could not sustain that same number of Champions and achieved a 4-3 finals match record.
The 2018 Northwestern District Championship Finals will stand out to be included on the “All Time Greatest Moments and Achievements” list. You kind of have to live-it and feel the emotion to understand it. These Greatest moments are obvious events that unfold, and grab hold of Fauquier Nation in a disbelieving manner. The desire for team Fauquier to overcome the lead that Liberty had to win the 2018 District first place trophy may be discussed as a Greatest Moments.
Liberty was victorious through the first two weight classes 106 and 113 with a pin and a major and the lead grew to 198 points as team Fauquier would have 183.5 points heading into the 120lbs weight class.
120 - Gino Camarca (Fauquier) came out strong and recorded a 1st period takedown. Zane O`Connor (Kettle Run) got a late reversal as the first period ended 2-2. A match that had a few takedowns and escapes had Gino Camarca earning a late 3rd period escape to seal the 9-8 win. This win gave Fauquier +4 pts as the team score after this bout had Liberty with 198 pts leading by 9.5pts over Fauquier 187.5pts.
126 - Ethan Jordan (Fauquier) vs. Keegan Shipe (Liberty) was the first of two head-to-head matches that Fauquier would have with Liberty. Ethan Jordan looked strong and recorded an early 2nd period fall over Shipe. This win gave Fauquier +6 pts as the team score after this bout which still had Liberty with 198 pts by 5.5pts over Fauquier 193.5pts.
132 - Kyle Budd (Fauquier) had lost to Timmy Dieter (Sherando) during the season yet Budd came out with the first takedown and a 2-0 first period lead. A match which had many stale mates in nonaction positions class had Budd winning a 6-4 match over Dieter. This win gave Fauquier +4 pts as the team score after this bout still had Liberty with 198 pts by .5pts over Fauquier 197.5pts.
145 - Joe Del Gallo (Fauquier) vs. Ricky Ryan (Liberty) was the second final head-to-head match with Liberty. Joe Del Gallo transitioned into a first period takedown and had a pinning combination to go up 5-0 after the first period. Another match that also had Del Gallo in on many takedown position but again stale male was called as Del Gallo was in position and moving close to earning a few takedowns. Joe Del Gallo won a 7-5 match as this gave Fauquier +4 pts and the lead for the first time of the Championships. The team score after this bout had team Fauquier with a 201.5pts and leading by 3.5pts over Liberty 198pts.
Liberty would win the 160lbs weight class with a 16-6 major and this would have Liberty jumping Fauquier with a +5 pts as the team score would have Liberty with 203pts.
170 - Sam Fisher (Fauquier) would dominate on takedowns by earning five takedowns to win by a 13-3 major decision over Gabe Chumley (Kettle Run). This gave Fauquier a +5 pts and the lead for the second time of the Championship as the team score after this bout had team Fauquier with a 206.5pts leading by 2.5pts over Liberty 203pts.
182 - Franco Camarca (Fauquier) lost a close 4-2 match that came down to late and last second missed takedown by Franco Camarca as Casen Chumley (Kettle Run) won by a decision. There was no change in the team scores after this match as Fauquier still held the lead.
Liberty would win the 195lbs weight class with an overtime pin and this would have Liberty taking the lead from Fauquier with a +6 pts as the team score would have Liberty with 209pts and 2.5pts lead.
220 - Tyler Raymond (Fauquier) won a very close 3-2 decision over Zack Kales (Sherando). This gave Fauquier a +4 pts and the lead once again for the third time of the Championships as the team score after this bout had team Fauquier with a 210.5pts leading by 1.5pts over Liberty with 209pts.
Liberty would not win the final 285lbs weight as the score would stay the same as team Fauquier would end with a 1.5-point lead and Northwestern District Champions.
The more wrestlers you have in the Finals the percentage is always going to be high that chances are you should win the District Championship. With Fauquier and Liberty both having seven wrestlers this was not the case as both teams had their opportunities.
Since Fauquier won both of two head-to-head match ups with Liberty at 126 and 145 lbs respectively in the Finals, this could be one of the major reasons why Fauquier is crowned Champion.
But more than that with the Falcons having just a 1.5-point swing over the Eagles you must also look at all 14 Fauquier wrestlers earning team points as the reason Fauquier won. This alone is a case why the 2018 Northwestern District Championships very well may make the All Time Greatest Moments and Achievements.
Questions for Coach Fisher:
Q: Having all 14 wrestlers earn team points, how much was that a factor in becoming District Champions?
Fisher: "It was certainly one of the primary factors. Being able to put 14 guys in a tournament like this can and in this case did make all the difference."
Q: Any reflections on the finals, having 7 finalists and going 6-1 did you expect the finals to play out as it did?
Fisher: "Not exactly. I knew all seven had the capacity to win, but things don’t always go as expected. And a couple that we did win were super close, I would have certainly liked a little more separation in those."
Q: Fauquier earns its 13th District title. How does that feel? And how tough is Northwestern District?
Fisher: "I told the boys last week in practice that I was most excited for Saturday because I knew it was going to be a huge challenge to pull out the win. Liberty had all of their guys back in their lineup, which includes a substantial number of seniors. They were at home, and the returning District Champs. It makes for an exciting event and a more enjoyable victory. The NW District is by far the toughest District in the state. Although, I have no doubt that our District will be the dominant district in the Region and the State, it is unfortunate for guys like Nolan, Alex, Eric and Tommy, where in probably any other District, they would be getting to the Region."
Q: Team Fauquier qualified 10 wrestlers for the Regionals – any reflections on this tournament?
Fisher: "The Regional goal is the same as the goal for the Districts. Push everyone through. I am confident in our training and preparation, and am optimistic that all 10 guys are able to make it to the state tournament."
The post season has begun and the 4A States just two weeks away. The 4A Region is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9th as Fauquier will now prepare for this tournament. The top 4 wrestlers in each weight class will then qualify onto the 4A State Championships.
Final Team Score:
1. Fauquier 210.5
2. Liberty 209
3. James Wood 181
4. Millbrook 139
5. Sherando 126.5
6. John Handley 109
7. Kettle Run 90
106 Nolan McEachin - 6th Place
113 Alex Bautista - 6th Place
120 Gino Camarca - 1st Place
126 Ethan Jordan - 1st Place
132 Kyle Budd - 1st Place
138 Eric Dewald - 6th Place
145 Joe De Gallo - 1st Place
152 Darryl Mayfield - 3rd Place
160 Kevin McEachin - 3rd Place
170 Sam Fisher - 1st Place
182 Franco Camarca - 2nd Place
195 Casey Burr - 3rd Place
220 Tyler Raymon - 1st Place
285 Tommy Heisler - 5th Place
REGION QUALIFIERS: Top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the 4A Region C Championships on Feb 9th at Sherando High School.
Full Team Results can be found here:
Fauquier 2018 Northwestern District Champions > >
DISTRICT / CONF. CHAMPIONS: 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 1972 | 1971