After missing most of the season with injuries, North Stafford wrestlers Aaron Townsend, Josh Nida, Chris Franklin and Michael Shannon returned to the mat today and led the Wolverines to a 42-17 win over Brooke Point in the first match of a quad at Sherando High School.
North Stafford, which placed second at the Virginia AAA tournament last season, improved to 7-10. Brooke Point, which had won 22 straight matches, fell to 22-2.
"When we're healthy, we're a very good team," said North Stafford Coach Tony Leonard, who has used a different lineup in every match this season because of injuries. "Having those kids back means a lot because it doesn't allow other teams to move kids around and it gives us a lot of confidence."
The best match of the day was the 145-pound bout between Shannon, who went 30-7 last season and was a state quarterfinalist at 135, and Brooke Point's Jeff Wills, who was fifth in the Northwestern Region last year at 140. Shannon scored a takedown midway through the first period, but Wills cut the lead to 2-1 with an escape early in the second. Shannon spent most of the third period on bottom, but did not give up any points and won, 2-1.
"I haven't wrestled in a while, so this was an important match," said Shannon, who sprained his ankle Dec. 18 and reinjured it earlier this month. "My game plan was to not go all out at first because I'm not in full shape yet. I wanted to work around and see how I felt. I got a little tired in the third period, but I was able to hang on for the win."
With Brooke Point leading 11-10, Shannon's victory seemed to turn the tide. After his match, the Wolverines won four straight matches and took a commanding 36-11 lead. Chris MacLaird earned a major decision at 152, Kyle MacLaird (160) and Chris Ashinhurst (189) won by technical fall and All-Met Kevin Collier pinned his opponent at 171. Brooke Point senior Shahrouz Nouri won by forfeit at 215, but North Stafford's Darrel Wolfe wrestled up one weight class and got a pin at heavyweight.
"That was the turning point," Leonard said of Shannon's win. "That match could have gone either way, but Michael won and it just snowballed from there. . . . This was, without a doubt, the best we've wrestled all season."
103--Townsend (NS) dec. Santana (BP), 5-2; 112--Bannister (NS) dec. Taylor (BP), 16-12; 119--Kittell (BP) maj. dec. Emison (NS), 17-4; 125--Nida (NS) maj. dec. Beach (BP), 11-0; 130--Foley (BP) maj. dec. Cox (NS), 14-1; 135--Heflin (BP) dec. Ciechanowski (NS), 7-4; 140--Franklin (NS) dec. O'Connor (BP), 5-3; 145--Shannon (NS) dec. Wills (BP), 2-1; 152--C. MacLaird (NS) maj. dec. Heissier (BP), 16-3; 160--K. MacLaird (NS) tech. fall Coe (BP), 15-0; 171--Collier (NS) p. Eddy (BP), 3:51; 189--Ashinhurst (NS) tech. fall Falkenstein (BP), 16-1; 215--Nouri (BP) won by forfeit; Hwt--Wolfe (NS) p. Hamm (BP), 2:22.