Three Statesmen win district titles

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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Randolph-Henry High School’s (R-H) varsity wrestling team fell short of its coach’s expectations at the 2020 James River District Tournament on Thursday, Jan. 23, but three Statesmen left Nottoway High School with district titles in their respective weight classes.

Freshman 106-pounder Brycen Arbogast, sophomore 113-pounder Shawn Copeland and senior 170-pounder Danny Parrish were the victorious R-H wrestlers.

As a team, however, the Statesmen finished in the bottom half of the six-team field, a result Randolph-Henry Head Coach Zack Mowery described as “very disappointing.”

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “… Brycen Arbogast, Shawn Copeland and Danny Parrish wrestled extremely well, but other weight classes that didn’t perform up to par definitely hurt us as a team. We lost some matches that we had won fairly easily earlier in the year.”

R-H entered the tournament with 10 wrestlers.

“My 220 got hurt right when we got there,” Mowery said, referring to sophomore Daniel Lara, who tweaked his knee. “That stung really hard, because he was ranked second in the whole thing.”

Mowery took another moment to focus on his district champions.

“Brycen won with a first-period pin in the championship,” he said. “Shawn had a first-period pin, and Danny beat his kid 13-3.”

The coach noted that his team’s long-term goal is not winning the district tournament, but he said that is a wonderful title to have.

“I really thought that this was our year to win that with Nottoway being down in numbers, but our goal is to advance to the state tournament, so I feel confident that we’ll have four kids advance to the state tournament,” he said.

Those four wrestlers include Arbogast, Copeland, Parrish and senior 145-pounder Chandler Newcomb.

“I expect Danny and Brycen to win the region, and I expect Chandler and Shawn to take top three,” Mowery said. “Top three move on to the state tournament.”

Next up for Randolph-Henry is the Region 2A Tournament, set for Saturday, Feb. 8, at Poquoson High School.

The key to improving on the team’s performance at the district tourney is “mentally preparing a little bit better, just taking care of business and not being so lackadaisical,” Mowery said.