Brentsville’s Zach Roseberry had experienced the disappointment of unmet expectations at the Virginia AA state wrestling championships before, and the 195-senior was not about to let that happen again.
Roseberry, who finished third last year, did not allow an offensive point in the entire two-day event this weekend at the Salem Civic Center, and capped his dominant run with a 7-3 decision in the 195-pound state title bout against undefeated Smithfield senior Chuck Sharon.
Roseberry and 106-pound junior Jeffrey Walker became Brentsville’s first AA state champions since the Nokesville school moved up from Class A in 2003-2004, and despite qualifying only four wrestlers for the state tournament, Brentsville’s fifth-place finish in the team competition was best among local teams.
“Last year [Zach] came in there probably the best in his weight class, and for whatever reason didn’t get it done,” Brentsville Coach Jess Moore said. “This year he wasn’t going to have any excuses. He was going to handle anything that came his way.”
Walker won the 106-pound title match in a 6-2 decision over Dominion junior Brandon Thein, whom Walker had also beaten in the Region II title bout the week before.
Walker had been taken down in a tough 12-7 semifinal decision over Region I champion Yarhoski Aldiva of Eastern View, but rebounded to close out his first state championship.
“I was really impressed with the way Walker rolled with the punches and kept wrestling,” Moore said. “It was an impressive performance.”
The only other local Virginia AA champion was Briar Woods 126-pound junior Michael Hulcher, who won four straight decisions including an 11-4 victory over Region IV champion Gabe Lumpp of Christiansburg in the final.
In the A event at Salem, Manassas Park 160-pound senior Isaiah Baker and 220-pound junior Corey Jenkins won the only state titles among locals to lead the Cougars to an area-best third place team finish.
Christiansburg won its 12th consecutive Virginia AA team title, and Grundy won its second straight Virginia A team title after moving down from Class AA two years ago.