Young guns receive ‘baptism by fire’ at Averett, top wrestlers gearing up for trip to St. Louis
Liberty University’s men’s wrestling team fielded a lineup made up mostly of underclassmen for Sunday’s Cougar Open Tournament hosted by Averett University in Danville, Va.
Led by freshman William Headley’s 16 points for his fourth-place finish in the 197-pound bracket, the Flames scored 27.5 points to place 13th out of 20 teams.
The host Cougars won the tournament with 187 points followed by Queens (N.C.) University (131.5), Ferrum (Va.) College (127), Roanoke (Va.) College (121), and Greensboro (N.C.) College (89).
“Bringing a young crew of freshmen and sophomore wrestlers, the day turned out to be a baptism by fire,” Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro said. “The results do not reflect the value of experience gained. It was a hard-fought effort and a lot of learning went hand in hand with that.”
Senior Robert Leek earned seven points for the team with his performance in the 149-pound bracket with sophomore Grant Brammer adding 3.5 points in that weight class. Sophomore Connor McCann pinned Averett’s Alex Driggs to earn four team points at 157 pounds, where junior Ian McIlhenny added 3.5 points with an 11-8 decision over the Cougars’ Luke Masterton.
Other teams competing included Allen (S.C.) University, Bluefield (Va.) College, Bluefield State (Va.) College, Coker (S.C.) University, East Carolina (N.C.) University, Emory & Henry (Va.), Germanna (Va.) Community College, Patrick Henry (Va.) Community College, Shenandoah (Va.) University, Southwest Virginia Community College (SVCC), West Virginia Tech, and Wheeling (W.Va.) University.
Liberty will send a split squad of wrestlers to the Lindenwood Open near St. Louis on Saturday, with the remainder of its roster competing at Sunday’s Star City Open hosted by Roanoke in Salem, Va.