For 15 years, opponents of the Christiansburg wrestling team have been scratching their heads on trying to figure out how beat the Blue Demons. Saturday, no one had an answer to that question as the host team rolled to a 112 point win over second place Cave Spring.
Head Coach Sonny Close said his team had a very strong performance. “With a few exceptions, most of the team was focused pretty much all weekend. We had a few lapses cost us competitive matches, but it’s a tough sport,” he said.
Abingdon finished in third place with 165.5 points, followed by Hidden Valley and Blacksburg.
Hunter Bolen led the Blue Demons with an individual conference title in the 160-pound class with a pin over his Abingdon opponent. Bolen is now 28-1 on the season and ranked in the top five in the nation. He was also named the Conference 32 wrestler of the year.
Other Blue Demons picking up conference championships were: Brandon Crowder at 106, Xander Whitehurst at 120, Marshall Keller at 132, Daniel Hoge at 145, Nick Giantonio at 152, Gage Levine at 170 an Erik Eva at 182.
Christiansburg’s Patrick Ferrell finished as the runner up at 285 pounds. The Blue Demons sent 12 wrestlers into 14 finals on Saturday afternoon at Christiansburg High School.
Christiansburg, who has won 15-straight state 3A titles, seemed poised for another one. Of course, they will have to host the 3A West match this weekend but it might be a mute point. Their nearest competition will again be Cave Spring, who is ironically coached by a former Christiansburg wrestler.
“To win regions we just need to stay focused and have faith in our preparation. Things can be tweaked at this point, but in most cases if you try to crowbar in a bunch of coaching at this point your just gonna confuse the kids,” Close said.
The regional competition will get underway Friday at 5 p.m. and continue through Saturday at Christiansburg High School.