They were subdued, insomuch as teenagers hoisting a trophy and reveling in a championship can be. Huddled in a corner of the Riverbend High School gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, Brooke Point’s wrestlers treated their emotions like an unlucky opponent in a front headlock and restrained them to the best of their ability.

To an individual, the Black–Hawks knew that a Commonwealth District title was only the beginning.

“This is step one on our journey,” first-year Brooke Point coach Travis Harris told his wrestlers. “There’s two more steps to go, and next week it starts.”

The two-time defending state champions cruised to a district title, sweeping Massaponax, North Stafford and Colonial Forge in the process. In a departure from previous seasons, the district opted for a two-part dual tournament format. The first half was held three weeks ago.

Five Black–Hawks—Bruno Alves, Chris Lee, Justice Bell, A.J. Deutel and Jason Kaiser—went undefeated on both dates. Mountain View came in second overall, while Riverbend placed third.

The dual format drew a mixed reception, with some wrestlers and coaches lamenting both the lack of individual champions and tepid atmosphere.

“It’s hard for me when it’s districts and it doesn’t mean anything,” Harris said. “You want to hold some kids out, because if they get hurt or something happens, it means nothing.

“I’m not a huge fan. I just wish it counted.”

Brooke Point senior Jason Kaiser, who wrestles at 195 pounds, only wrestled two district matches all season due to forfeits and missed districts last year with an injury.

“I was hoping it would be a tournament again,” Kaiser said. “But winning as a team was just as sweet.”

North Stafford senior Giuseppi Inserra venerates his older brother Willie. So the fact that the elder Inserra never reached 150 wins during his own decorated Wolverines career made Guiseppi’s feat on Saturday all the more gratifying.

“He’s a big role model for me,” said Inserra, who reached 150 via pin and also went undefeated. “But I’ll only get better.”

The next milestone for the 152-pounder is North Stafford’s school record—now just seven victories away.

Saturday’s tournament had no bearing on regionals. Five of the schools—Brooke Point, Mountain View, North Stafford, Massaponax and Stafford—will turn their attention to next week’s Region 5D championships at Orange.

Meanwhile, Riverbend and Colonial Forge will travel to Clover Hill for the Region 6B championship.

While Saturday’s results didn’t count for any practical purposes, they did matter to Kaiser and his Brooke Point teammates. After graduating five seniors who either placed or won at states, the Black–Hawks entered the season with tempered expectations. At least, outside their wrestling room.

“A lot of schools were counting us out this year,” Kaiser said with a grin.

Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045


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