Riverheads wrestlers reflect on winning state titles
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Riverheads wrestling program produced three state champions this season.
Junior Jake Yowell won his second consecutive 126 pound title for the Gladiators. For him, the wrestling mat in Salem is a memorable atmosphere.
“It’s always exciting to go down to Salem with the big crowd, it gets really loud,” said Yowell. “It’s a lot of fun to go out there and just wrestle.”
Seniors Cody Cash and Luke Bryant also won state wrestling titles for Riverheads, two months after helping the Gladiators win their seventh consecutive Class 1 State Championship on the football field.
Cash won the 165 pound weight class while Bryant took the 195 pound title. Growing up, Bryant watched older Gladiators compete at state tournaments and aspired to follow in their footsteps.
“It almost felt unreal,” said Bryant. “I went to all the state tournaments and saw everybody else winning... you just hope that will be you one day.”
On the football field, Cash and Bryant helped lead a powerhouse team to one of the longest winning streaks in the nation. On the wrestling mat, the Gladiators have a chance to shine in an individual pursuit.
“An individual sport like wrestling is a lot harder than football,” said Cook-Cash. “On the football field, you can make a mistake but you have teammates that help you out. On the wrestling mat, if you have a mistake, you can get pinned.”
Cash and Bryant compete against one another in practice, raising the level on the football field and on the mat.
“We practice together and push one another to be the best we can be,” said Cash. “We pushed ourselves to the 100% level to make sure we were ready for states.”
The Gladiators made their mark on the mat and on the football field this academic year. In the fall, Riverheads football will be going for its eighth consecutive Class 1 State Championship.
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