Once again, the Fauquier Falcons found themselves repeating as Region II champs (09-10 and 10-11) and holding the first place trophy after the last match was complete at Orange HS. The Road to the state title is one week off.
One would say repeating as a Regional champ is harder than simply winning it for the first time. Winning 1st place had not been easy for the Falcons in recent years but this has become addictive to say the least as the Falcons have earned a 1st place in 4 different wrestling tournaments and runner up in 2 other events this season. Someone would even wonder if Coach Fisher has any more room for trophies in the wrestling trophies case. Regardless, if the team continues to wrestle like they are they are bound to bring home some hard ware from the state tournament.
It is not very hard to remember and look at the previous wrestling season and how the falcons ended up being runner up in the Regional tournament (a few years) and then finally having a breakthrough year (last year) and winning the Region II tournament. Were you there for that marathon of wrestling (17 straight hours of wrestling) well after midnight until the Falcons raised the1st place trophy above their heads? Although this past Saturday the 12th at Orange H.S. did not have any drama with the weather condition of years past, Coach Fisher seems to be guiding these kids in a winning tradition. The teamís success also seems to now bring the followers who want to see these kids win. As one looked up into the stands of Orange HS gymnasium you were treated with a sea of red of those Fauquier-ians who have come out to show their support for the wrestling team.
Some of the outstanding performances at regionalís came from Bennett Payne, Greg Flournoy, Van Grimes and Jacob Fahlfeder for becoming Region II champions. Below are some of the results of the Regional Finals and Consolation Finals for Fauquier.
119 Bennett Payne (FQ) Dec 6-0 Luke Anderson (MB)
135 Greg Flournoy (FQ) Fall 1:26 Seth Henson (BD)
140 Jacob Crawford (MB) Fall 5:16 Landon Dean (FQ)
145 Batchka Zulkhuu (PF) OT-Dec 7-5 Seth Baker (FQ)
152 Van Grimes (FQ) M-Dec 9-0 David Richardson (LC)
171 Jake Fahlfeder (FQ) Dec 5-2 Max Weiner (WA)
125 Chuck Hilleary (FQ) Dec 7-2 Tarkan Martin (BR)
130 Tyler Budd (FQ) Dec 6-1 Kyle Combs (Lib)
160 Christian Chirico (FL) Dec 2-0 Max Strum (FQ)
215 Nate Whitmer (LOU) Fall 4:16 Andrew Sengstack (FQ)
HWT B.J. Askew (SH) Dec 5-4 Even Oddenino (FQ)
Fifth and Sixth Placement
103 Anthony Chau (FR) Dec 2-2 Marco Tcheukado (FQ)
112 Billy Maddox (SKY) Dec 2-0 Michael Villalob (FQ)
The Falcons had 4 region champions, 2 runner-ups, 2 third placers, 3 fourth placers, 2 sixth placers (13 total placers), and winning their second straight Region II title while earning a team record with 260 points with and advancing 11 to the state tournament.
Its hard to sometime grade oneís team until you finally get here, compete, and the kids wrestle the other teams in the region. Not really seeing any of the Loudoun schools or the southern district schools during the year and in any of your scheduled events, how did you prepare the team for this Region event as the uncertainty awaited?
Fisher: "I never grade our guys against the competition. That ultimately is reflected in the final scores. My focus is on preparing our guys to wrestle the perfect match regardless of the opponent. The perfect match, is like the speed of light, never truly attainable, but our goal nonetheless. There are many variables that can contribute to or deduct from ones ability to wrestle the perfect match. We focus on that which is within our control, such as weight management, nutrition, strength, conditioning, technique and mental preparation."
Putting 11 in the semi finals and going 25-3 on day 1 (Friday), and then putting 6 in the finals and having 4 champs with 11 wresters advancing to states on day 2 (Saturday), any thoughts with that knowing those are some crazy stats?
Fisher: "I am proud of each one of them. It is a huge accomplishment. They came together as a team and each one of them directly contributed to the final team score."
Itís nothing to hide that the past two weekends the team has also earned tons of bonus points (winning by pins), can you for see these bonus points continue; coming in bunches at states?
Fisher: "Well, it always gets tougher the deeper you go into the post season, but our guys have been in the big matches this year, seen the big stage, and been successful. We work on our pinning combinations, and the results speak for themselves. Like all aspects of our technique, it will work at the highest levels of competition if done properly and at the right time, therefore I expect we will continue to garner bonus points at states."
Looking over your seniors and onto the junior and sophomore wrestlers, what do those kids need to do at states to finish up their VHSL season?
Fisher: "The seniors did their job this weekend showing their maturity. They stayed poised under pressure and were a great role model for the underclassmen. The younger guys need to follow that lead, stay on the offense for 6 minutes and never come out of position."
Now Salem, VA awaits the team. Only four practice days left. What is the plan? What preparations is Coach Fisher going to do to head towards every kidís goal (ďTo win a state championship!Ē)?
Fisher: "We will tweak a few things this week, focus on some specifics resulting from our regional efforts, and make sure each guy going to states is mentally and physically prepared. Primarily, though, we will continue doing what we do every day, but trying to do it better and harder."
What about the Fauquier Nation? What is that, what does that mean in coach Fisher terms so the average fan can understand this lingo?
Fisher: "Ah Yes, the Fauquier Nation, It can not be understated how much our fan support contributes to our success. I know the excitement generated by our fans transfers to each one our guys and elevates their level of competition. Hearing them gets me pumped up, so I have no doubt the guy who they are cheering for feels it too."
Earning a record number to the state tournament berth (11 wrestlers and a school record) the question is that will this large representation ensure the final weekend success? Headed now to the state tournament in Salem VA, on Feb. 18th and 19th and going up against the state power down south, the team now must have to wait to celebrate the Region II championship after the season. You better bet coach Fisher will get the Falcons ready for battle as the state tournament awaits them with no more easy matches left for these Falcon wrestlers. The road to the state is now upon this Fauquier squad as each period, each bout, and match will be crucial if the Falcons can continue the show and be one of the power teams in the state.
More detail of the Region II tournamnet can be found here: for results click here>>
Van Grimes vs. David Richardson Region II Finals AA - VA