Two Statesmen to state mat

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Randolph-Henry High School will have two representatives at the Virginia High School League Group 2A state wrestling tournament to be held Friday and Saturday at the Salem Civic Center.

Statesmen junior Caleb Calhoun and freshman Danny Parrish placed within the top four of their respective weight classes at the Region 2A East tournament last week, qualifying them for states.

As a team, Randolph-Henry placed seventh out of 22 teams that scored by producing 83.5 points.

The host school for regionals, Strasburg High School, won the regional team championship, producing 225.5 points.

“The competition proved to be a lot tougher than we originally thought,” Statesmen Head Coach Dean Schwartz said. “Having been in the west region for the past four years, our only view of the east region was at the state tournament in previous years.”

In the face of the heightened challenge, Randolph-Henry left its coach pleased.

“Our team wrestled well, and we are very excited about how our young wrestlers performed,” Schwartz said.

Calhoun placed third in the 285-pound weight class, while Parrish placed fourth in the 182-pound class.

When asked if he was surprised by what Parrish has accomplished as a freshman, Schwartz said, “Yes and no.”

“He placed fourth in middle school states last year. So, we knew he was a good wrestler, but throughout the season, he struggled to put things together. Then, at regionals, it all clicked for him, and he beat some very strong wrestlers to qualify for states.”

Among the other highest-placing Statesmen was senior Spencer Parrish, who claimed fifth in the 170-pound class, and senior Christopher Nichols, who earned fifth in the 126-pound class.

“Our six seniors have been extremely important to this team’s success and will be sorely missed,” Schwartz said. “However, they are leaving the team in a lot better place.”

Wrestling at the Group 2A state tournament begins Friday at noon.

Schwartz said that as Calhoun and Danny Parrish prepare for states, “we are working on conditioning and continuing to work on precision with their moves.”