To be in the state wrestling finals you are classified as the best in the state. You have to really be in the finals to gain a sense and understanding of what it feels like to be center stage at Salem Civic Center. For Max Strum who was in it, his path was the same as all others--win three matches in a row as Fauquier once again was able to show-case one of its best wrestlers Saturday night in the Salem Civic center. As I sit down to write this closing article for the 2013 Fauquier wrestling season, I understand what it takes to get to the finals like Strum and other Falcons who have as well. But I wonder if you do.
| 126 Garrett Tingen
| 182 Max Strum
| Team Fauquier
pictures taken by Amber Gates
To strap on a green or red ankle band at the state tourney means more than wearing the teams uniform for one more week but one of sixteen best in the state. It’s the last high school wrestling event of the season as each wrestler wants to prove how high they can stand on the podium at day’s end. Earning respect by winning is what Fauquier has done for many years and it continued at the 2013 state tournament.
The hard work, the pain, and the sweat that goes into this sport makes it all so sweet when your arm is raised in the semi-finals match of the state championship round as that is what Max Strum experienced. The smile and happiness on Strum’s face moments after beating Alberto Garcia of Martinsville 6-1 in his semi-final match that Strum completely controlled for the entire six minutes. Working hard all season long, Max has earned the right to be in the state finals.
It's pretty clear that if you earn a metal at States and stand on the podium at day’s end, it shows that you do belong. To get to States you need to place in the top four of your Regions as Fauquier brought four to the 2013 AA states. I wonder if those that did not get there ticket punished to the state tournament, get it. It's nothing that anyone can give to you as you must have the complete skill sets to earn it through winning and being battle tested. Bottom line; you need to get your arm raised to move on.
Yes, each year brings on wrestlers that have an unbeaten record entering to the state finals to a history of winning tournaments during the season that has proven to all that a lost during the season would most likely bring on an adjustment in your thought process and game. And I would also bet that it’s every state qualifiers dreams of winning it all—the state title. It should be a part of the mental game that lies deep within every wrestler. I also wonder if any of the young Falcons are dreaming those thoughts. I sure hope so.
Have I mentioned that once again Fauquier had a State Finalist? Folks it is not easy getting to the finals as many of past Falcons have reached the semi-finals round and have not won that match. Last year Fauquier had two finalists and the year before they had none, but in 2010 team Fauquier had three with two state champions Ryan Hunsberger and Conner Miller.
Last year the Falcons earn a 5th place states and the 2011-12 class was also a team that was senior heavy as well. But repeating as Region II Champs in a year that the state or better yet the VHSL will be shaking up all schools into different classifications and different regions and state re-alignment is only fitting for Fauquier to earn the Region II trophy on its final year.
But to have Fauquier earn 8th place status at this year’s 2013 AA states may seem like a letdown to some. But looking deeper you will see that injuries had a major impact. Having three starters and state qualifiers from a year ago that were sidelined with injuries, one would expect Fauquier not to be in the mix. Still a bigger question to date was how this team made it possible to pull off and win the Region II tournament. But going into states Coach Fisher had to know that his lack of numbers and wrestlers that had previously qualified were down, and only having four participates for the 2013 state campaign assured that any hopes of placing top five and was going to be very difficult to achieve.
Okay so how did team Fauquier place individually? 113lbs Sophomore Daniel Ariola went 3-3 and earned 6th Place, 126lbs Freshmen Garrett Tingen went 4-1 and took 3rd Place, 145lbs Senior Michael Villalobos went 2-3 and earn 8th Place status and Senior 182lbs Max Strum went 3-1 with a 2nd Place finish or better yet the state runner-up--however you like it.
The first round of the state tournament had all four of the Fauquier wrestlers winning their first match to get to the quarters. But as the quarters were over Fauquier only had two wrestlers that won that round. Garrett Tingen won by tech fall 15-0 over John Reed of Alleghany and Max Strum won a come from behind match to win 10-8 over Trent Graham of Poquoson. Strum was down 7-2 heading into the 3rd period as he put Graham on his back twice to seal the win in a nail biter.
At times the semi-finals can be the best match-ups or the best two wrestlers on the same side of the bracket as Fauquier had both Tingen and Strum on deck and wrestling this round. As you got to believe that the coaching staff also felt good about each of the Falcons draws that they had. But at round end Fauquier went one and one as Garrett Tingen lost 11-3 match to Gave Lumpp of Christiansburg and Max Strum won a 6-1 match over Alberto Garcia of Martinsville. This win for Strum pushed him in to the finals as Tingen would drop to the consolation bracket side to wrestler along with the two other Falcons Daniel Ariola and Michael Villalobos to compete in the wrestle backs.
In the Championship Finals Max Strum ended up losing to Zack Epperly of Christiansburg where we all knew Strum was battling one of three Christiansburg wrestlers that were going for their fourth state title. But to see Max after the match as he still having a big smile on this face this season ending loss did not faze him at all. Could it been that he knew his season was over, or that he knew that he did all that he could to win, or was Max just glad to be wearing the Fauquier singlet for the last time in the state finals? This young man must had known that he was a winner and had to be proud to be a part of something special—the state finals.
You have to look back at the 2007 wrestling season when the Fauquier also had four Falcon placers as well and the two seasons before (2006 and 2005) team Fauquier only had three state placers. This was the time period where team Fauquier really took some strides forward as the team started to emerge as one of the stronger teams in the state. Maybe Max was aware of all of this, as he knows that he continues to provide the positive and is content with his work of body. Obtaining his 100 career win during his semi-final match of the state tournament does place him at an A+ in any grade book.
Any thoughts or reflections on this year’s AA state tournament?
Coach Fisher: "I thought we had a very good state tournament with the guys that we were able to bring. The 4 that wrestled did great, and all placed."
How gratify is it to have a state finalist?
Coach Fisher: "It is always gratifying having state finalist. It reinforces the fact that we have done our job as a coach by providing the environment that allows our guys to succeed."
Getting 5th in 2010 and 2011 and earn 8th place this year, what are Coach Fisher plans to get the program in top 5 again.
Coach Fisher: "We will make some minor adjustments in schedule and technique, but nothing dramatic. We were really falling victim to the numbers game. We must continue growing our youth program."
Any comments with this year’s senior class?
Coach Fisher: "I will miss this year’s seniors. They have put in a lot of time and work, and are all great young men, and will no doubt have successful futures."
| 145 Michael Villalobos
| 113 Daniel Ariola
pictures taken by Amber Gates
At day’s end it can be summed up from Sam Hunsberger’s posting on Facebook, "Great job at states, 4 went and 4 placed". His statement tells you a lot about our Fauquier Nation followers and brings a clearer understanding on how hard it is to place at states.
Fauquier Nation may look back at this season as being a rebuilding season which at times all programs experience. But more than that, having three state qualifiers (of which two were place-winners) and eight regional qualifiers returning next season will show that next year’s team will be experienced and improved.
We say goodbye to the senior crew Max Strum, Michael Villalobos, Ben Brady, and Marco Tcheukado. Like past Falcons that have placed their mark on the program, this senior class has aided in the team success. They are special groups that have kept the ship afloat and they will, undoubtedly, return to show their support in the years ahead.
Wining its fourth Region II title is a testimony to Fauquier’s voracity. Getting any wrestler to the state finals is a huge accomplishment as Coach Fisher will once again look to re-group. The Birds O Prey wrestling club will once again make season ready wrestlers over the spring summer and fall. For the new crop of Fauquier wrestlers that plan to make their own mark on this sport we will have to wait for another year and hope that a Fauquier wrestler can fight through to be on top of the podium as a State Champion.
Top 10 Teams and Score
Eastern View 81.5
New Kent 77.5
Warren County 45.5
The AA State brackets can be found here:
AA State Brackets
Below are the results of Fauquier Falcons at the AA State Wrestling Tournament.
Record and Placement
113 Daniel Ariola 3-3 6th Place
126 Garrett Tingen 4-1 3rd Place
145 Michael Villalobos 2-3 8th Place
182 Max Strum 3-1 2nd Place
182 Max Strum lost by pin to Zack Epperly-Christiansburg
3rd and 4th Placement
126 Garrett Tingen won by pin over Blake Holman-New Kent
5th and 6th Placement
113 Daniel Ariola lost 1-0 to Brendan Velez-Brentsville
7th and 8th Placement
145 Michael Villalobos lost 7-0 to David Diatonic-Christiansburg
Round notes: Fauquier went 1-2
Consolation Semi-Finals- 12:00 pm
113 Daniel Ariola lost 9-6 to Brandon Robin-Northside
126 Garrett Tingen won by pin over Carter Lovers-E. C. Glass
Round notes: Fauquier went 1-1
Semi-Finals - 9:30 pm
126 Garrett Tingen lost 11-3 to Gave Lumpp-Christiansburg
182 Max Strum won 6-1 over Alberto Garcia-Martinsville
3rd Round-Consolation - 9:30am
113 Daniel Ariola won 5-0 over Terrance Thorn-Warren Co.
145 Michael Villalobos lost 7-2 to Justin Mays-Amherst
Round notes: Fauquier went 2-2
2nd Round-Consolation - 9:10 pm
113 Daniel Ariola won by pin over Jacob Scott-Bassett
145 Michael Villalobos won 9-1 over Josiah Huston-Skyline
Round notes: Fauquier went 2-0 with 1 pin.
2nd Round-Championship - 6:30 pm
113 Daniel Ariola lost 8-1 to Creed Lumpp-Christiansburg
126 Garrett Tingen won TF 15-0 over John Reed-Alleghany
145 Michael Villalobos lost 8-0 to Michael Bryant-William Byrd
182 Max Strum won 10-8 over Trent Graham-Poquoson
Round notes: Fauquier went 2-2.
1st Round-Consolation - 1:30 pm
1st Round-Championship - 9:30 am
113 Daniel Ariola won by pin over Bryson Mitchell-New Kent
126 Garrett Tingen won by pin over Mark Weinstock-Chancellor
145 Michael Villalobos won 12-10 over Joey Estella-Carroll Co.
182 Max Strum won by pin over Ethan Duckworth-Northside
Round notes: Fauquier went 4-0 with 3 pins. Team earned 14pts. and should be in top 5 of tourney.