By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
SALEM, Va. —
No one works harder than Grundy and no one from Grundy works harder than Justin Street.
In fact Street had to work as hard as he has all year in leading the
Golden Wave to its 17th state team title Saturday night at Salem Civic Center.
Street won his second straight state title with a tough, emotional 8-7 victory over Chatham’s Marcus Clements.
Grundy topped second-place Strasburg, 143-128 in the team standings. Manassas Park (121) was third and Rural Retreat (90.5) fourth.
Two Grundy wrestlers lost in the finals. Trey Smith, who won at 138 pounds last year, lost a 5-3 decision to Strasburg’s Kent Cadle in the 132-pound finals. Golden Wave freshman Elliott Pedigo lost a 10-3 decision to a three-time state champ and four-time finalist, Northampton senior Casey Paglia.
Street won his second state championship and finished with 170 career wins, just eight shy of Jeremy Hurley’s school record of 178 victories.
The senior fell behind Clements 4-1 in the first period, but he kept his composure, however, and rallied back, getting a takedown on the edge with 53 seconds left to break a 6-6 tie.
“(Clements) got two quick takedowns,” Street said. “His defense got to me. I let my nerves get to me in that first period, but I felt like I was in control the whole time.
“I just kept pushing the pace and I kept shooting and kept shooting and got in on his head and I was finally able to finish a shot. But the team title means just as much. To win two state titles and with the way it ended it was perfect.”
Grundy, which had seven wrestlers in the semifinals, clinched the team title before the finals for the first time in over a decade.
“We would have liked to have more champs, but it was a good team win,” Grundy coach Travis Fiser said. “We wrestled well in the championships and we wrestled well in the wrestle backs.”
Grundy had five other place-winners. Freshman Maverick Coleman placed third at 106 pounds, while Dylan Raines (152) placed fourth.
Austin Hurley (120) finished fifth, Austin Compton, who re-injured an already sore elbow, placed sixth at 126 and Jordan McCowan was seventh at 182 pounds.
Graham had two place-winners. Dustin Hagerman was fourth at 113 pounds. Everette Vest placed seventh at 220 pounds.
Winning title number 17 moves Grundy within one state title of tying Great Bridge for the most ever in any classification. The Tidewater area program won its last Group AAA crown in 2006.
Grundy won 15 Group AA state titles and is a perfect 2-for-2 in Group A. The Golden Wave will compete in Division 2A next year under VHSL realignment.
J.I. Burton’s Colby Dean became just the third four-time champ in Group A and southwest Virginia history when he won at 152 pounds.
Only two Southwest District wrestlers placed. Abingdon’s Grayson Toler (152 pounds) and William Jenkins (145) each placed fourth. They both reached the semifinals before losing and dropping into the consolation rounds.
Christiansburg won its 12 straight AA team crown.