Brooke Point wrestling coach Travis Harris struck a stoic pose as he toasted yet another title, one his team managed to capture without the services of “a lot of missing people, a lot of sick people.”
Among the absent was Travis’ son T.J., the Black–Hawks’ freshman 113-pounder. The younger Harris missed school all week with intense flu-like symptoms. Despite his weakened state, he staged solo workouts in a doomed attempt to make weight.
Ultimately, he ended up at the hospital, where concerned doctors administered a sonogram before ruling him out indefinitely.
“We’re waiting on the results,” Travis Harris said, fighting tears.
Propelled by their ailing teammate, the Black–Hawks left little doubt as to the outcome of Saturday’s Region 5D championship at Orange. Seven wrestlers advanced to the finals, with five—Bruno Alves, Chris Lee, Brenden Olszta, A.J. Deutel and Jason Kaiser—claiming individual crowns as Brooke Point repeated as team champion.
“They all rallied around me and said: ‘We’re going to do this for you, coach,’” Harris said. “‘We’re going to do it for TJ.’”
Ethan Heitchew won a 106-pound title for runner-up Mountain View, which clung to a slight lead throughout the consolation semifinals and place matches. Brooke Point pulled ahead for good when Bruno Alves secured a late pin against William Fleming’s Keyvar Thompson at 120 pounds.
Alves was seeing stars after absorbing a headbutt in the opening seconds of his bout. His opponent relentless, his vision blurred, he nonetheless rallied from a 4–0 deficit to avenge his loss to a William Fleming wrestler in last year’s region finals.
“He was trying to bully me,” Alves said of Thompson. “He knew he had a lot of strength over me. But I pulled through in the end, and I had more heart than him. That match felt like an hour.”
The host Hornets placed third, led by a partially mummified Chance Bowers. Bowers, who entered Saturday’s action already sporting stitches above his left eye, re-opened a gash on the back of his head early on in his 160-pound final.
“The next thing you know, there’s blood everywhere,” said Bowers, who closed out the 8–6 decision with his face wrapped tightly in gauze and covered with a black mask. “I’ve worked toward this for four years, and I’m not going to let little things like that get in the way.”
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the Class 5 championships on Feb. 15–16. Early-round action will take place at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, followed by the finals at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax.
Throughout the afternoon on Saturday, the Black–Hawks kept Harris apprised of the team standings through a group text message. He replied with frequent updates on how he was feeling.
And when he found out Brooke Point clinched the title?
“He was ecstatic,” Kaiser said.
Championship finals: 106: Ethan Heitchew (MV) d. Elize Nyabenda (PH), 4–2; 113: Rafael Galvez (A) p. Ayden Montez (NS), 3:51;120: Bruno Alves (BP) p. Keyvar Thompson (WF), 5:51; 126: Chris Lee (BP) p. Carter Miller (NS) 1:15; 132: Chauncey Wilson (PH) d. Justis Bell (BP), 3–2; 138: Syed Moaz (P) d. Elijah White (MV), 4–0; 145: Brendan Olszta (BP) d. Nicky Benner (OC), 12–2; 152: Giuseppi Inserra (NS) d. Jose Jihad (BP), For.; 160: Chance Bowers (OC) d. Ryan Foutz (PH), 8–6; 170: A.J. Deutel (BP) p. Joel Garza (MV) 2:58; 182: Declan Williams (Ma) p. Tyson Gordon (PH), 3:34; 195: Jason Kaiser p. Emmanuel Aye-Bonte (P), 5:58; 220: Donovan Berry (A) d. Stone Summers (MV), UTB 4–3; 285: Jeremiah Longoria (NS) d. Ray Pierce (OC), 11–5
Third place matches (locals only): 106: Wyatt Mills (OC) tf. Ayden Montez (NS), 16–0; 113: Dalton Arce (MV) d. Cale Carr (OC), 10–8; 120: Wyatt Smith (MV) d. Khalil Boddie (P), 6-2; 126: George Schimitt (MV) d. Yared Velasquez (A), For.; 132: Jacob Henderson (WF) p. Charles Hines (MV), 4:24; 138: David Steigler (OC) p. Nolan Pitsenberger (A), 3:12; 145: Hunter Huddleston (WF) d. Carlos Leon (MV), SV 8–6; 152: Paul Molina (St) d. Tyler Mabe (H), 9–3; 160: James Mooney (MV) d. Zack Davis (A), 4–0; 182: Kyjuan Gomez (BP) p. Tyrce Payne (WF), 2:10; 195: Ty Steinmetz (St.) p. Anttwone Washington (Ha), :48; 220: Denzel Porter p. Brian Jackson (Ma.), 6:51; 285: Robert Cheeks (Ma.) p. Robert Castenada (PH), 3:36
Region 6B title
All season long, Riverbend coach Mark Roberts assured his wrestlers a region title was within their grasp. Despite myriad setbacks, that goal never changed.
On Saturday, the Bears realized their lofty aim, winning the team title at the Region 6B championship at Clover Hill High in Midlothian. Ben Larkin (113 pounds), Clay Rankin (132), Nate Taylor (138), Andrew Wright (152) and Bobby Anthony (195) led the way with victories in the championship finals.
“Everything kind of came together at the right time,” Roberts said. “We’ve had a rough season in terms of injuries and sickness, and this was really the first time we had our complete team together.”
Austin Pollard (106), Keenan Orr (145) and Logan Nieves (220), and Zach Lynch (285) won individual titles for Colonial Forge. The Eagles placed third.