Randolph-Henry wrestling team, Jackson finish season strong

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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The Randolph-Henry wrestling team is among the Top 30 in Virginia. That’s where the squad ended up after last weekend’s state championships, with the Statesmen finishing 27th among all teams. The news was even better for wrestler Landon Jackson, who finished as one of the top six in the state for his weight class. 

“Overall this season has blown us away!” said Statesmen head coach Chris Weatherford. “The team has not only grown substantially but they have accomplished things that haven’t been done in years at this school. Coming from a team that maxed out at eight kids last year, to having over 20; with five making it to States this year speaks for itself.” 

Those five he’s referring to are, along with Jackson, David Terrones-Lara, Donovan Blanton, Samantha Van der Weken and Tre Wheeler. Under Virginia rules, any wrestler that places first, second or third at regionals advances to the state championship. Competing in front of a sold-out crowd at the Salem Civic Center, most of the team was eliminated early on. Jackson, meanwhile, made it all the way to the quarterfinals before being beaten. He won in the 175 lb category by fall early on over Bruton wrestler Tyler Pollock. Then he was beaten by Central Woodstock’s Davon Ridgely, also by fall. 

Continuing to grow 

As a result of the competition, the Randolph-Henry wrestling team finished ranked 27th in the state. Landon Jackson, meanwhile, also earned his award, finishing sixth in the state for the 175 lb division. Both coaches said they’re proud not just of the achievements of competing for the championship, but of just how far everyone has come. 

“We are proud of all of them for coming this far and ecstatic that Landon Jackson fought his way to be ranked 6th in the state,” Chris Weatherford said. 

Their comments were echoed by the schools’ principal. Erin Davis said the hard work put in by the entire team “reflect the high standards of excellence upheld by the Randolph-Henry wrestling program.” 

Davis pointed out and praised Jackson’s achievement, becoming one of the first Statesmen to reach the Top Ten in several years. 

“Congratulations to Landon for this remarkable accomplishment,” Davis said. “We would also like to thank our parents, coaches, and all team members for rallying behind our student-athletes all season long and celebrating alongside each successful moment. The support of our school community is an essential part of athletics at R-H!” 

Davis also thanked parents, coaches and all team members for rallying behind the student athletes. 

“The support of our school community is an essential part of athletics at R-H,” she added. 

Next for the Randolph-Henry wrestling team 

So what happens now? Much like basketball or baseball, the competition isn’t over just because the events are. 

“While the school season is over, their work is not,” Chris Weatherford said. “We can’t wait to get back on the mat with them all, and all those to come, to see where we can take the team next year!”