Robinson Coach Brian Hazard started the game of telephone, spreading the word to one of his nine 6A North regional finalists that he wished to address the group one more time — right after the national anthem ended — and the madness started.
He kept it short and sweet.
“Make it happen, have fun and get after it,” Hazard told his huddled squad.
Seven Rams delivered with individual titles, and No. 1 Robinson took the team crown at Centreville on Sunday with 257.5 points, beating second-place Battlefield by 110.
Osbourn Park finished third with 136.5 points and also won the team sportsmanship award, voted on by the officials.
The first eight matches were decided by regular decision — or less than an eight-point margin. Robinson senior Zak Depasquale bucked that trend in the 160-pound final, tech-falling Patriot’s Clayton Siler, 24-9. Depasquale said he picked up on one of Siler’s tendencies just 10 seconds into the match.
“He was a real strong kid but always did the same thing, always kept the hand on his head, Depasquale said. “And I love when kids do that because I have my takeoffs from there.
Centreville junior Tyler Love scored the first fall of the finals, pinning Lake Braddock’s Ian Reilly in 2 minutes 33 seconds in the 195-pound bout. Love kept his distance by hand fighting until he saw an opening for his high-crotch takedown.
“I readjusted, got him in deep and just stuck him,” said Love, who was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. “I’ve wrestled him a few times in the past. It’s always been a real close match, so that felt good.”
Two Lake Braddock wrestlers won titles, sophomore Dante Wiles (106) and senior Ryan Haskett (120). Haskett staved off a last-second single-leg takedown attempt from Westfield’s Gabe Ryan to hold on for a 4-3 victory.
Robinson seniors Jack Bass (152) and Jake Pinkston (285) won their fourth consecutive region titles. Pinkston elicited a few laughs during warmups when he sprang to his feet in one motion from a position lying flat on his back. He attempted the move a second time and nearly injured himself.
But the heavyweight standout showcased the same sneaky agility in a 4-2 win over Hayfield’s Cordell Soileau.
“Everyone thinks I’m just a short, not fast guy, but I’m very athletic,” Pinkston said. “I consider myself one of the most athletic heavyweights in the state, if not the nation.”
Next weekend, the Rams — winners of two of the last three team state championships — will host the inaugural 6A state meet in Fairfax. Only then will Robinson evaluate its performance.
“To be honest, we’re not even fully really satisfied yet,” Depasquale said. “This is the regional tournament. We still have another week. This isn’t where we want to be. We want to be looking this good next weekend.”