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In a rebuilding era, Fauquier finds strength to win its 4th Region II title
by: Ted Proctor - 2-12-2013
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   2013 Region II Champs
   picture taken by Amber Gates
If you had asked any Fauquier Nation folk the question--how did this 2013 Falcon team win the Regional Tournament? It would be hard to nail down and come up with a clear answer. Take for instance the make-up of the squad as it’s comprised of ten sophomores and freshmen and only having three returning starters from a season ago. More than that, taking a back seat and earning a second place at last week’s Evergreen District tournament many people thought their season was over. These factors and more are reasons why Fauquier did not have a fence to climb to win the 2013 Region II tournament but rather a fifty foot brick wall. A little luck, maybe, but it had to be a TEAM effort.

Upon leaving Champe High School in Loudoun County after the Region II event was over even Coach Fisher was also in question of this Fauquier team title ”How did we win this tournament with this young team and what they had to overcome?” Such a response should not be surprising as before this Region II tournament Fauquier had come-up short many times this season--a second place finish at the NOVA Classic, losing 6 dual matches this season by 3 points or less, and as you can even look at the District tournament last week, Fauquier came in second place by 1.5 points.

Just as the Evergreen District tournament showed all last week, Fauquier had the lead the entire tournament only to falter to second place by 1.5 points in the final round 2 matches. Once again after the first day of the Region II tournament Fauquier found themselves on top of the leader board and in the mix with five other teams battling for the lead. In the end the Region II would go through 6 lead changes during this two day event as Fauquier would share the lead in those rounds. One of the biggest surprises at the end of day one was that the leader board had two Fauquier County teams on top; Fauquier on top with 68.5 points and Kettle Run in second place with 63.5 points.

As day 2 started and the second round of the Consolations were over, Fauquier still had a small lead with 126 pts in front of Brentsville, Skyline, and Loudoun Co. But it was only fitting to say that the field had caught Fauquier during the wrestle backs and once the Region wrestled through the Semi-Final round, Skyline had jumped into the lead as Fauquier had bounced back and forth between second and third place through the remaining rounds leading right up to the Championship Finals.

It was not until Fauquier’s final two wrestlers of the evening of the Championship Finals as 138lbs Michael Villalobos and 182lbs Max Strum both won their final matches to be named Regional Champ as team Fauquier was able to jump back into first place and seal the team winning the Region II Championship trophy for the fourth straight year since 2010.

   126 Garrett Tingen
   113 Daniel Ariola
   145 Michael Villalobos
   152 Andrew Smith
   132 Matt Raines
   182 Max Strum
   pictures taken by Amber Gates

Fauquier wearing its red team singlets with a big black F on the front side of the uniform almost seemed that Fauquier had a bull’s eye on their uniforms--team Fauquier verses everyone else. Even though there were some great wins by this young Fauquier team, it was noticed as all opposing fans cheered anyone who competed against Fauquier. You even heard boo’s directed towards the referees even as Fauquier wrestlers were getting there arm raised, a testimony of the fans not liking the calls that the referees were making or not making.

This maybe another reason or a factor why Coach Fisher felt his team had much to overcome having to battle the Region’s best opponents and at the same time each Falcon also had to overcome the fans’ reaction. These are some elements that could call for any young athlete to crack under the pressure.

Losing some close matches during the season and the districts tournament by the smallest toe nail, you can say that the Falcons have really taken it on the chin this season. To finally muscle up what was needed to win the Region II tournament truly does wash away any bruises. That’s what winning does for any sport.

Matt Raines is a perfect example of how Fauquier has been battle tested. Raines, wrestling at 132lbs, was one of the four Fauquier wrestlers that won their first three matches to reach the Champion Finals and become the first to win the Region II for Fauquier--but suffered an injury that came on an illegal head ramming move put on by his opponent Justice Jacobs of Brentsville. “This was an unfortunate situation for this to happen but felt the referee made the right call of unsportsmanlike conduct.” as Coach Fisher addressed this to the press after the event on Saturday. If a wrestler conducts an illegal move and is called on it during the match by the referee and the opponent wrestler gets injured and cannot continue to wrestle, this is then referred to as disqualification of the wrestler as this was the call in Raines’ Championship Final match. Even though Matt Raines had won the Region II tournament this past weekend his injury suffered in the finals has sidelined him for this upcoming state meet.

One of the biggest matches on Saturday came from Max Strum during his Semi-Finals match against Thomas Smith from Powhatan HS and the number one ranked wrestler in the state at 182lbs classifications. Within a minute into the first period Strum took an explosion double leg take down that took Smith completely off his feet and as Smith defended the move well and twisted his body to win the first take down. Strum then earn an escape seconds before the first period ended to post a 2 to 1 score heading into the second period.

As Smith selected bottom he ended up reversing Strum late into this period to go up 4 to 1 heading into the third period. Strum then started the last period down and was able to get out for a one point escape with about a minute to go in the third to bring the score to 4 to 2 favoring Smith.

With 15 seconds left in the match Strum was in on a deep single leg and as Smith trying to hold on, Strum put Thomas on his back while Strum positioned himself to score a takedown and earning two points near fall the last few seconds of the match; in a thrilling ending to earn the 6 to 4 win. Very hard to describe the fans’ reaction into words as all eyes were on this high level match to watch Max Strum advance to the Championship Finals.

The next pivotal match for Fauquier came from 126lb Garrett Tingen verse Matt Sun of Loudoun Co. in the Consolation Semi-Finals. A win by any wrestler in the Consolation Semi-Finals would advance the wrestler to the state meet. Tingen was winning the match headed into the third period with a score of 3 to 2 as Tingen revered Sun with 45 seconds left to go up 5 to 2. But Sun then revered Garrett second later and was driving a high level arm bar tilt which Tingen had to fight off and avoid giving up back points.

As the period ended Sun had the position to earn back points but Garrett kept his back from getting exposed as no back points were award by the referee and Tingen won the match 5 to 4. This was a major win for team Fauquier and this also gave placement points that aided in the team standings.

Going into the Championship Finals Fauquier had four wrestlers on deck-- 113lb Daniel Ariola, 132lb Matt Raines, 145lb Michael Villalobos, and 182lb Max Strum. Fauquier also found itself in third place in the team standing; Skyline was in the lead followed by Loudoun Co. holding onto second place. It was noted that after a review of the team scores Fauquier would need to win three of its four bouts to jump itself into first place.

One of the critical Championship Final match-ups of the four bouts that Fauquier would have to win came from the 145lb finals. Fauquier’s Michael Villalobos was head-to-head with Josiah Huston of Skyline. Villalobos had beat Huston during the season but it turned out that the winner of this match would decide the Region II team championship. Going into the third period Huston was up 3 to 2 as Villalobos got an escape on Huston to tie the match and send the match into overtime.

Within the first 20 seconds of the overtime Villalobos took a shout and elevated Huston off the mat but Villalobos had to conduct another elevation return as Villalobos did not have complete control with the initial takedown finish. Villalobos completed another high level return with control and earned the win. Fauquier Nation fans celebrated in relief knowing how important a win was as Villalobos left the mat with his arms raised high.

Max Strum, the Falcons final wrestler, in his Championship Finals had a rematch of his district finals with Adam Bresson of Kettle Run. Strum stayed focused and pushed the action the entire match with also many high level takedowns to top Bresson 12 to 5 to once again seal the team victory and win the 2013 Region II crown. With this win Max Strum becomes a 2x Regional Champ for team Fauquier. Strum also joins three other Fauquier wrestlers that have also earned this same status.

Fauquier ended with 147.5 pints over Loudoun Co. and Skyline who tied for second place with 144.5 followed by Brentsville earning third place. But to look at the complete picture of how Fauquier won this event, one must say that it needed a complete team effort. Simply looking at the first round as Fauquier brought 11 wrestlers and posted a 9 and 2 record showed all that they were ready.

But more than that of those 9 wins during the first round Fauquier earned maximum bonus points of 2 additional points with 8 pins and one forfeit. Give credit to those freshmen and sophomores that earned a victory or two with bonus in the consolations rounds which also helped give Fauquier points.

There is not a magical number that is written down that shows you what is needed point wise to win a regional title. But 147.5 points has to be very close to that mysterious number. But to look back at last year’s 2012 Fauquier team they earned 220.5 points and advanced 9 wrestlers to states and in 2011 Fauquier blew out the lights and earned 260 team points in a mid-night madness affair as Fauquier advanced 11 wrestlers to the state tournament. But to look and compare this team with the past, Fauquier earning three champs at Regional which equals the 2012 team where they also had three champions as well.

Question: How sweet is it in becoming Region Champs? Any words that you can describe on how it feels to win the 2013 Region II, 4x straight.
Coach Fisher: "This has been one of the most rewarding regional championships for me. To finally see the team come together and compete at the level in which I knew we were capable. This year’s team may not have had the experience and muscle of teams past, but they no doubt have the biggest heart."

Question: Can you describe how this wrestling year has gone leading up to this Regional event.
Coach Fisher: "This has been the worst year that I have ever had on any team in my 30 years of competing or coaching wrestling when it comes to injuries. The loss of Marco and Henry early in the season was devastating to me personally and to the team we were thin on upperclassman prior to them sustaining season ending injuries. Then losing another and one of our few remaining seniors, Michael Villalobos for a large part of the year due to a concussion and later a shoulder injury made a bad year much. Fortunately, Michael was able to recover and compete in the post season and stands as both a District and Regional Champ, with an eye on a state title. When it looked like we were just getting our feet under us again, Matt Raines suffered a season ending concussion in the Regional Finals as a result of an illegal “battering ram” headbutt from a Brentsville wrestler. I know though our remaining 4 state wrestlers will pick up the Fauquier flag and continue the charge forward."

Question: Any exciting matches that you felt were key to the team’s success at Regions.
Coach Fisher: "Every match at regionals was a key match. We won the tournament by a mere 3 points. Every match was key, every bonus point gained was important. Every bonus point given up could have cost us the tournament. "

Question: You had advanced to take 5 wrestlers but with Raines injury Fauquier is now only taking 4 wrestlers to States, any words that you can describe on what the team needs to do to earn top five in states.
Coach Fisher: "We are going to need perfect matches from all 4. They will all 4 need to place high and score bonus along the way. The exciting thing about states is that I know all 4 guys are capable of just that."

So you can say over the past four years Fauquier’s wrestling team has walked away from the Region II tournament winning it in multiple ways and fashions. Fauquier Nations have been on edge all season long and it’s only fitting that this year’s team can still respond in a positive way and overcome all of the adversity to show the region that they are the best.

Advancing foue wrestlers to the state meet may not be the army of participants that Fauquier Nation may have had in past years but these four wrestlers are seasoned Falcon wrestlers that have worked hard to position themselves at a run for the gold. Coach Fisher will be once again look to refocus the team for the AA States in Salem. Each weight class will again be aligned into a 16 man bracket as the states will place the top 8 in each weight class. Fauquier Nation the team is making a late season surge as the stage will be set for one more week of wrestling.

Congratulations to Fauquier for winning the 2013 Region II tournament. 4X straight 10, 11, 12, 13

Below are the results of Fauquier Falcons at the Region II Wrestling Tournament.

The Top Ten Team Scores: Click Here

Team Placement
113 Daniel Ariola- 2nd place
126 Garrett Tingen-3rd place
132 Matt Raines-1st place
138 Clifford Harris- 6th place
145 Michael Villaloboswon-1st place
182 Max Strum- 1st place

Championship Finals- 6:00pm
113 Daniel Ariola lost 3-1 to Brendan Velez-Brentsville
132 Matt Raines won by DQ over Justice Jacobs-Brentsville
145 Michael Villalobos won OT 5-3 over Josiah Huston-Skyline
182 Max Strum won 12-5 over Adam Bresson-Kettle Run

Round notes: Fauquier went 3-1.

3rd and 4th Placement- 4:00pm
126 Garrett Tingen won 8-5 over Noah Goss-Skyline
5th and 6th Placement- 4:00pm
138 Clifford Harris lost 5-2 to Anthony Andriola-John Handley

Round notes: Fauquier went 1-1.

Consolation Semi-Finals- 1:30pm
126 Garrett Tingen won 5-4 over Matt Sun Loudoun Co.
138 Clifford Harris lost 4-0 to Cameron O'Conner-Kettle Run

Round notes: Fauquier went 1-1.

Semi-Finals - 11:30 am
113 Daniel Ariola won 2-0 over Terrance Thompson-Warren Co.
126 Garrett Tingen lost 17-11 to Michael Hatcher-Briar Woods
132. Matt Raines won by pin over Joe LaRock-Woodgrove
145 Michael Villalobos Won by Pin over Omer Nezam-Potomac Falls
182 Max Strum won 6-4 over Thomas Smith- Powhatan

Round notes: Fauquier went 4-1 with 2 pins.

3rd Round-Consolation - 11:30am
106 Caleb Strum lost by pin to Tyler Barisciano-Warren Co.
138 Clifford Harris won 8-2 over Zack Gingras-Loudoun Valley

Round notes: Fauquier went 1-1.

2rd Round-Consolation - 10:00am
106 Caleb Strum won by pin over Dylan Sieng-Park View
138 Clifford Harris won by pin over Zack Chastain-Park View
152 Andrew Smith lost by pin to Micah Hotz-Park View
160 Ben Brady lost 4-0 to Dan Mullaney- Sherando
170 Erick Lemus. lost by pin to Rico Bumbery-Liberty

Round notes: Fauquier went 2-3 with 2 pins. Fauquier earned 6 pts to improve to 74.5 team point.

1st Round-Consolation -8:00 pm
170 Erick Lemus won by pin over Todd Craig-Briar Woods
285 Justin Sanker lost by pin to Pat Henson-Louisa Co.

Round notes: Fauquier went 1 and 1 with 1 pin.

2nd Round-Championship - 6:15 pm
106 Caleb Strum lost 6-0 to James Woznak-James Wood
113 Daniel Ariola won 9-0 over Cade Kiely-Loudoun Valley
126 Garrett Tingen won 7-4 over Isaac Meadows-Millbrook
132 Matt Raines won TF 25-0 over Garrett Maddox-Skyline
138 Clifford Harris lost 6-3 to Ryan Brown-Monticello
145 Michael Villalobos won by pin over Jordan Dalton-Sherando
152 Andrew Smith lost by pin to Gavin Tingen-Louisa Co.
160 Ben Brady lost by pin to Dylan Wisman-Millbrook
182 Max Strum Alex Reader-Loudoun Co.

Round notes: Fauquier went 5-4 with 1 pin. Fauquier is still on top with 65.5 pts.

1st Round-Championship - 3:00 pm
106 Caleb Strum won by Forfeit
113 Daniel Ariola won by pin over Leo Chinappi-Powhatan
126 Garrett Tingen won by pin over Austin Enriquez-Portomac Falls
132 Matt Raines won by pin over Jose Rodriguez-Loudoun Co.
138 Clifford Harris won by pin over Schyler Litten-James Wood
145 Michael Villalobos won by pin over James Gore-Loudoun Valley
152 Andrew Smith won by pin over Logan Bauseman-James Wood
160 Ben Brady won by pin over Noah Calvin-Westerni Albemarle
170 Erick Lemus lost by pin to Levi Roy-James Wood
182 Max Strum won by pin over Austin Henry-James Wood
285 Justin Sanker lost OT 4-2 to Ben Avery-Sherando

Round notes: Fauquier went 9-2 with 8 pins and 1 forfeit. Team is currently on top of the leader board with 32 pts.

106 Caleb Strum 2-2
113 Daniel Ariola 3-1
126 Garrett Tingen 4-1
132 Matt Raines 4-0
138 Clifford Harris 3-3
145 Michael Villalobos 4-0
152 Andrew Smith 1-2
160 Ben Brady 1-2
170 Erick Lemus 1-2
182 Max Strum 4-0
285 Justin Sanker 0-2

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