The Magna Vista wrestling team earned championships in five of 14 weight classes Saturday, helping the Warriors claim the Piedmont District championship at Martinsville Middle School.
With eight wrestlers finishing in the top four of their weights and landing on the podium, Magna Vista paced the field with 148.5 points. Bassett, with four champions and five other placers, finished in second place with 130.5 team points. Patrick County placed a close third with 128.5 points. George Washington (86.5) placed fourth, Tunstall and Halifax County tied for fifth (60) and Martinsville (56) was seventh.
George Washington senior Chestley Hargrove placed second at the Piedmont District championships in each of the last three seasons in his weights, but he finally broke through Saturday by winning at 138 pounds win a pin in 1:50 against Trey Robertson of Patrick County.
“Winning is something I knew I was going to do, but to see myself progress and grow the way that I grew, it made me very proud to know that I’m accomplishing something instead of repeating the same stuff,” Hargrove said.
Five other Eagles teammates also earned trips to the podium: Demarrion Kirby (2nd, 120 pounds), Dominique Ramirez (3rd, 126), Demajah Adkins (3rd, 132), Tavon Jiggetts (2nd, 170) and Julien Thompson (3rd, 182).
“We’ve got a lot of young kids. I think Kirby, Adkins, they’re stepping up in the practice room and they’re getting better out here on the mat,” GW head coach Jason Medlin said. “A lot of it too is our confidence — wrestling all these matches and getting their confidence up.”
Tunstall’s Santanna Keatts (106 pounds) and Cade DeVivi (170) earned the Trojans’ only individual titles of the day.
“It feels good, and I can say I’m the champion of my district,” said Keatts, a freshman. “I just want to accomplish more. … I definitely need to get my stamina up and practice the moves that I’m not really strong at.”
Also for Tunstall, 126-pounder Zavion James placed fourth, Jhalin Godwin placed fourth at 132, Zane White was fourth at 145, Trevor Bagbey placed fourth at 152 and Thomas Bray was fourth at 220.
Magna Vista head coach Zeak Ca’Stle said the team’s championship was the product of his team working hard to improve over the course of the season.
“Usually over the Christmas break, a lot of teams lose their edge. We stayed in the room and worked hard and didn’t lose our edge,” he said. “I knew coming in that we could win it if we had a bunch of pins and some places.”
Magna Vista got championship performances out of Devin Dickenson (113 pounds), Teagan Phillips (145), Luis Sanchez (220) and brothers Zayvion Estes (195) and Nick Estes (285).
“We started off kind of slow [this season], but we worked hard and got better and better,” Ca’Stle said. “[Assistant coach] Hugo Hughes, he does a great job of conditioning the kids, and that made a big difference as far as us being on the podium versus not being on the podium.”
Perhaps the most surprising champion of the bunch was Zayvion Estes, a sophomore in his first year of wrestling. He pinned Bassett’s Ricky Penn in 3:20 to place first.
“I’d wanted to do it for fun because it’s my brother’s senior year and he wanted me to come out and do it with him, so I did it and I worked hard,” he said. “It’s really fun. I didn’t like it at first, but I like it now. I’m starting to love the sport.”
Ca’Stle was named the Piedmont District’s Coach of the Year, and Phillips, who tallied a pin and a major decision on Saturday, was named Wrestler of the Year.
The Bengals earned championship performances from Blake Miller (126 pounds), Drew Fisher (152), Darrius Morrison (160) and Shyhee Preston (182).
“Bassett’s come a long way,” said Preston, a senior. “Our coaching staff and all the new type of styles of wrestling that our coaches have brought, they’ve really helped us out a lot in different ways — on the mat, off the mat.”
Preston earned a 15-8 decision against Patrick County’s Josh Wright to take first place.
“I knew my strengths, and I knew where I needed to get him,” Preston said. “I came here with something to prove. Just wanted to let people know that Bassett’s still got it.”
Preston has made it to the state tournament in each of the last three seasons, but he has yet to place there. As he focuses on regionals and the state tournament, placing at state in his final year is his primary concern.
“I’ve won matches [at state], but I haven’t placed yet,” he said. “That’s the biggest goal.”
Patrick County, with two champions, put forth an encouraging performance for first-year head coach Tim Lawson.
“I’m pleased with the effort we’ve given this year and the improvements we’ve made since the first day,” Lawson said. “I think we have a good chance of getting a good number of kids out of the regional and into states.”
Alfredo Gutierrez (120 pounds) and Owen Smith (132) earned Piedmont championships for the Cougars. Seven other Patrick County wrestlers wound up on the podium Saturday.
“We have 10 guys that have one 20 or more matches this year,” Lawson said. “I’m just hoping they stay with it and work hard.”
Piedmont District Championships
At Martinsville Middle School
Team scores: 1. Magna Vista 148.5; 2. Bassett 130.5; 3. Patrick County 128.5; 4. George Washington 86.5; 5-tie. Tunstall 60, Halifax County 60; 7. Martinsville 56.
106: 1. Santanna Keatts, T; 2. Michael King, M; 3. Jonathon Kuller, PC.
113: 1. Devin Dickenson, MV; 2. James Farris, M; 3. Trent Alexander, PC; 4. Ethan Lucado, B.
120: 1. Alfredo Gutierrez, PC; 2. Demarrion Kirby, GW; 3. Hunter Amos, MV; 4. Colin Sanders, HC.
126: 1. Blake Miller, B; 2. Juan Gutierrez, PC; 3. Dominique Ramirez, GW; 4. Xavion Jaimes, T.
132: 1. Owen Smith, PC; 2. Marco Duarte, MV; 3. Demajah Adkins, GW; 4. Jhalin Godwin, T.
138: 1. Chestley Hargrove, GW; 2. Trey Robertson, PC; 3. Dawnson Moore, B; 4. Chris Doan, MV.
145: 1. Teagan Phillips, MV; 2. Zach Oakes, B; 3. Alex Driggs, HC; 4. Zane White, T.
152: 1. Drew Fisher, B; 2. Darious Williams, PC; 3. Jamier Manns, M; 4. Trevor Bagbey, T.
160: 1. Darrius Morrison, B; 2. Leo Walters, HC.
170: 1. Cade DeVivi, T; 2. Tavon Jiggetts, GW; 3. Jacob Davis, HC.
182: 1. Shyhee Preston, B; 2. Josh Wright, PC; 3. Julien Thompson, GW.
195: 1. Zayvion Estes, MV; 2. Ricky Penn, B.
220: 1. Luis Sanchez, MV; 2. Aaron Crowe, B; 3. Tristan Hardy, PC; 4. Thomas Bray, T.
285: 1. Nick Estes, MV; 2. Zyon Wilson, HC; 3. Omarion Hairston, M.
Parker Cotton is a sports reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin and Danville Register & Bee.You can reach him at (276) 638-8801 ext. 215. Follow @ByParkerCotton.