Wrestling to an eighth-place finish in States

Three Panther wrestlers traveled with their teammates to Salem, Va., last week to compete in the Virginia State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Feb 16. Dylan Hitt, David Smoot and Patrick Foley represented Rappahannock with distinction. As the sole award-winner, Hitt proved victorious with an overall eighth-place standing in Virginia’s 152-pound weight class.

From left, at last weekend’s state wrestling tournament: RCHS head coach Alex Coffroth, seniors Jesus Lucas and Patrick Foley, junior (and eighth-place winner) Dylan Hitt, assistant coach Andrew Batula, junior and team manager Keelee Armor and (behind Batula) junior Taylor Ordile. Courtesy photo.
From left, at last weekend’s state wrestling tournament: RCHS head coach Alex Coffroth, seniors Jesus Lucas and Patrick Foley, junior (and eighth-place winner) Dylan Hitt, assistant coach Andrew Batula, junior and team manager Keelee Armor and (behind Batula) junior Taylor Ordile. Courtesy photo.

The two-day tournament presented many challenges for these accomplished athletes. According to athletic director Jimmy Swindler, Smoot was “disqualified due to an infection he had developed in a skin lesion, so he wasn’t allowed to wrestle at all.” Foley was an alternate in the 195-pound weight class, but there were no scratches, Swindler said, so he did not get to wrestle.

“All the boys worked hard all season,” Swindler said, “and while some may view the results at states as a disappointment, the fact remains that just placing in that tournament is a remarkable feat and a testament to their hard work. Winning a state championship, whether it be in an individual or a team sport, is one of those things that talent alone just does not guarantee. So many things have to go right, fall into place at the right time, in order for such an achievement to happen.”

Head coach Alex Coffroth said he was thoroughly encouraged by his athletes. “While we did have a place-winner at the 152 weight class, the team wants more. I plan to work to improve our team in the off season and have an even better season next year. We are losing a lot of seniors, but we are gaining plenty of upcoming freshmen for next season. I look forward to next year and the increased success of Rappahannock Wrestling.”

– Melissa Delcour

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