Five PM Wrestlers Advance

Blues Place Ninth At Super Region Tourney

Five Parry McCluer High School wrestlers advanced to the Class 1 state tournament. The Fighting Blues placed ninth of 16 teams at the Class 1 Super Region tournament on Friday and Saturday at Grayson County High School in Independence.

Wrestlers qualified for the state tournament by placing in the top six in their weight classes.

The Blues tallied 74.5 points. Grundy won the tournament with 288 points, Rural Retreat (236.5) placed second, and Grayson County (185) finished third. Rounding out the top five were George Wythe (157) and Galax (100.5).

Senior Nick Craft had the top finish for PM, placing second at 138-pounds. Also advancing by placing fourth were seniors Tyler Royer (106) and Trent Fitzgerald (182) and junior Forrest Vassar (285/heavyweight). Freshman Kabell Austin (220) had to forfeit all of his super regional matches due to injury but still advanced by placing sixth.

Craft, Royer and Fitzgerald all competed at the state tournament last year. This will be the first state tournament appearance for Vassar and Austin.

Craft made the finals by pinning Rural Retreat’s Mason Via in 1:52 in the semifinals, but was pinned in the championship match by Grundy’s Chris Stiltner in 1:14. PM head coach Jeremiah Brockenbrough said Craft and his teammates will take it one match at a time at the state tournament, but he hopes Craft will get a rematch with Via.

Royer lost in the quarterfinals in an 8-3 decision to the super region champion, Castlewood’s Adam Gibson, but battled back to win two bouts before falling in the thirdplace bout to Auburn’s Devin Davis in an 11-1 major decision.

Fitzgerald lost in the semifinals to Rural Retreat’s Ross Via in a 6-0 decision, but pinned Chilhowie’s Logan Adams in 3:36 in the consolation bracket. His knee was bothering him, so he took a medical forfeit in the third-place bout since he had already qualified for the state tournament. “He’s got an opportunity to make the state finals this weekend,” Brockenbrough said.

Brockenbrough said Vassar “had a hell of a tournament.” All of Vassar’s matches were close. In the quarterfinals, he lost to Honaker’s JC Horn in a 2-1 decision, but he then beat Covington’s Blaine Pettitt in a 2-1 decision, avenging a loss in the sub-regional tournament the previous Saturday. In the third-place bout, Vassar lost 4-2 in overtime to Galax’s Brender Rojas.

Two other Blues earned medals by placing in the top eight. Junior Matthew Mears (145) finished seventh, while sophomore Jeremiah Fulwider (170) took eighth.

The Class 1 state tournament will take place on Friday and Saturday at the Salem Civic Center. The first round will start on Friday at 10 a.m., followed by the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Consolations matches will follow at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the semifinals are scheduled for 10 a.m., followed by the consolation semifinals at noon, the consolation finals at 1:30 p.m., and the championship matches from 5-8 p.m. Medals will be awarded to the top six finishers in each weight class.

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