Fishburne wrestlers ready for state meet
Fishburne Military School senior wrestler Tyler Allen is … ready.
“I’m a little anxious, but I think everyone is. Been drilling here this week, practicing hard. It’s just, I’ve waited my life for this time, so … whatever happens, happens,” said Allen, the 145-pound champion at last week’s Virginia Independent Conference Wrestling Championships, on the eve of the first day of the VISAA state championships.
The Caissons will send 14 wrestlers to the state meet, including Allen, a Fort Defiance transfer, and Matthew Farrar, a junior from Waynesboro who was the VIC champ at 126.
The Fishburne team finished second overall at the VIC meet, and second-year coach Terry Waters was named the conference coach of the year.
Waters, a six-time district coach of the year in stints at Fort Defiance and Riverheads who also worked as an assistant at Washington and Lee University, took over the wrestling program at FMS in 2015 with the goal of building a team that could compete for state titles on a regular basis.
The success has come a little sooner than expected.
“The program is on the right track. We’re still building, but we have the blocks to build with,” Waters said.
Allen, 32-4 this season on the mat, will be making his first state-tournament appearance this weekend. Farrar, a regular training partner for Allen, is making his second trip to states, after advancing to the quarterfinals in 2016.
Farrar has been working toward this weekend basically from the moment his quarterfinal match ended this time last year.
“I didn’t do as well as I’d wanted to do last year. This year I have a different mindset. I’m going in there ready,” Farrar said.
Story by Chris Graham