Without one of its top wrestlers, Colonial Forge came just a few points shy of sweeping the Brentsville quad Saturday.
Jayson Jurek (24-1), the No. 1 ranked 130-pound wrestler in the Washington area, missed the weekend tournament after a concussion in practice Wednesday followed by a bout with flu.
Despite his absence, Colonial Forge finished the tournament 2-1, defeating Youngsville (Pa.), 33-31, and Liberty, 49-15. Brentsville edged Colonial Forge, 37-34, but lost to Youngsville.
Colonial Forge was led by five wrestlers who finished the quad 3-0. Sophomore Kyle Graham--the second-ranked 112-pound wrestler in the area--improved his record to 27-1, and Chris Fulmer improved to 24-4. Other three-time winners were Scott Fisher (125), A.J. Fales (189) and Chuck Brown (heavyweight).
"It would have been nice to beat [Brentsville]. They've got good tough kids, and [Coach] Thad [Kiesnowski] does a real nice job there," said Colonial Forge Coach Bill Swink, whose first-year team improved to 16-8.
Jurek will return for tonight's dual match at North Stafford, the school a number of Colonial Forge wrestlers attended last year and where Swink was an assistant coach. Despite the obvious rivalry, Swink said his team plans to treat it like any other match.
"I think sometimes if you hype it up too much it can work the opposite effect," Swink said. "So we're going to try and treat it like any other match."
North Stafford Coach Tony Leonard admitted the match against Colonial Forge has special meaning.
"The kids are looking forward to it," Leonard said. "It gives them something to talk about. They've actually been talking about it all year."
Leonard's Wolverines rolled through an almost injury-free season last year, which concluded with North Stafford finishing second in the state, but injuries have kept the team (5-10) from fielding a complete lineup this season. Missing from North Stafford's lineup over the weekend at the Virginia Duals in Hampton--which featured top teams from around the country--were normal starters Josh Knight (125 pounds), Chris Franklin (140 pounds), Mike Shannon (145) and Mike Crawls (160).
"I'm just thanking God that they are all happening early and that they are not happening during the [Commonwealth] District schedule," Leonard said. "I think we had a good year [last year], and you have to take the good with the bad and take the injuries. We have a long season yet, and the only thing that counts is districts and regionals, and we have a long time to prepare for that."
North Stafford lost its first two matches of the double-elimination Virginia Duals, falling to Calvary Chapel (Calif.), 49-19, on Friday and Parkland (Pa.), 63-17, on Saturday.
The weekend was not without its highlights, though. Both Chris Ashinhurst and Kevin Collier collected their 100th career victories in Hampton.
"I was kind of happy that we could get both of those out of the way at the same time," said Leonard. "Now they can focus on the rest of the season."
Collier--the area's top 171 pound wrestler--improved to 23-0 this season, and Ashinhurst--No. 1 at 189 pounds--is 18-2.
CAPTION: A.J. Fales has upper hand over Liberty's Matt Seward as Colonial Forge finished 2-1 on Saturday at the Brentsville quad.