Eight members of the Mathews High School wrestling team will travel to Salem today to take part in this weekend’s Group A state tournament at the Salem Civic Center. The boys qualified based on their performance in the Region A contest, which was held on Sunday and Monday at Northampton High School.
The young team’s accomplishment is especially impressive, considering the Devils lost nine out of 14 starters from last season.
Two MHS wrestlers—Billy Bower (170 lbs.) and Austin Fravel (195 lbs.)—won regional titles after posting records of 4-0 and 3-0, respectively. Bower defeated Nandua’s Bryan Wade, 16-6, in the finals, while Fravel edged out Kai Antonio of Lancaster, 6-5, to win the gold medal.
Joining Bower and Fravel in Monday’s regional finals was Caleb Miller. The 120-lb. wrestler won his first two matches, before losing in the championship round to place second.
Five other MHS wrestlers earned berths in the state tournament. Sean Rhodes (126 lbs., 3-2), Sam Moore (132 lbs., 3-2), Parker Thompson (138 lbs., 3-1), A.J. White (182 lbs., 3-2) and Isaiah Maultsby (220 lbs., 2-3) finished fourth in their respective weight classes.