Strong competition rules Loudoun Valley Duals
Five Loudoun schools competed in the Loudoun Valley Duals Wrestling Tournament Jan. 18-19 in Purcellville. Broad Run, Freedom, Heritage, Loudoun Valley and Potomac Falls participated in a 13-team field that included squads from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“Every year we’ve just tried to keep on improving the tournament itself,” said Loudoun Valley coach Troy Mezzatesta before rattling off several of the top teams in this year’s event. “Just some good quality teams that up the competition and let your wrestlers know where they are.”
Westfield, considered one of the top Virginia AAA teams, won all nine of its matches in the two-day tournament to earn top team honors. Stafford (7-2) and Pennsylvania school North Lebanon (7-3) produced solid records as well.
Freedom delivered the best showing among Loudoun schools. The Eagles went 5-2 with victories over Hedgesville (W. Va.), Potomac Falls, Liberty, Washington (W. Va.) and Sherando.
“We were coming in with a record in dual meets of 25-5,” Freedom coach Kent Nagy said. “We’ve battled injuries and we only have two kids returning from last year’s starting 14, so we are winning with a whole fresh batch of kids.
“We talk about the no names,” Nagy continued. “We have a lot of no name kids out there that nobody really knows to this point and we are hoping at the end of the year they will. They’ve worked really hard and they waited their chance and now they are getting it.”
Freedom is led by Brendan Kammerdeiner at 195 pounds and Jason Cardoza at 170. The two captains have worked hard to lead the team not just during wrestling season, but year-round.
“Brendan Kammerdeiner was fifth in the region last year and won the district,” Nagy said. “He is probably in the top five in the state this year. Our other captain Jason Cardoza is pushing 40 wins this year. Not a whole lot of flash but he grinds matches out. A real tough kid and a great leader. Andy Hinricks at 145 and Jack Wrenn at 160 are two juniors who also have solid experience and have wrestled year-round since entering high school.”
Potomac Falls, dealing with a short lineup, toughed out wins against Liberty, Heritage and Hedgesville at the duals.
“It was a very challenging weekend, we had a lot of very tough teams that we wrestled,” Potomac Falls coach Rob Puterio said. “We were missing four varsity starters so we threw a lot of young kids into the lineup that did a great job holding up for us and even some of our varsity starters were tested.”
“Zach Causey at 195 had a bunch of tough matches, Garrett Griffith at 160, Tad Haugen at 170, Fasil Turkistani at 160 pulled out some matches and Louis Ives at 113 had a good weekend for us,” Puterio added. “It was a good test for us to get out here and fight it out and for them see what kind of wrestlers they are up against.”
Host Loudoun Valley won three of seven matches. The Vikings defeated Heritage, Hedgesville and Liberty and lost by just five points against Sherando.
“Our feature wrestler is Josh Cassada-Maple at 170,” Mezzatesta said. “He was fifth in the state last year and we have wrestled him in some tough matches and wrestled him up some. He has three losses this season which is all he had last season through the state tournament.”
Mezzatesta was also pleased with several of his other wrestlers. He has dubbed the Viking wrestlers in the lighter weight classes as “termites”.
“106-pound Derek Rashid has had a good season all in all and put himself in a good position here locally. Freshman Cade Kiely has won a couple tournaments and is one of the top ranked kids in AA at 113. For a freshman, he’s put up real impressive stuff. Joseph Lafonte at 120 has been real gritty and wrestled the fourth-ranked kid in the state from Sherando to the wire. And Kyle Dillon at 126 has worked real hard and we have worked with him. Those are our termites. Then Zach Gingras at 138 is ranked up there with some local tournament victories.”
Broad Run finished 3-5 in the event with wins over Hedgesville, Heritage and Liberty. The Spartans faced stiff competition in their losses.
With only four wrestlers at the tournament, Heritage was forced to forfeit several matches and finished winless.
-All photos by Michael “Moe” Murphy
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