The South Lakes High wrestling team, following a successful although challenging regular season, will step into the postseason this weekend when it competes at the Liberty District Championships Friday and Saturday (Feb. 4-5) at McLean High School.
The Seahawks were a highly successful 19-6 in dual meets this season. They have won despite dealing with injuries and other issues throughout the season. The recent snowy weather conditions, which have closed schools over certain days over the past several weeks, have also made things difficult as far as continuity and practice time as Hall's squad prepares for districts.
"We're getting ready for districts next weekend but the snow is killing us right now," said Hall. "When school is out, we're not allowed to have any organized practices. I have to rely on my kids working themselves out on their own."
South Lakes' top winner this winter has been junior Ryan Forrest, who has been the Northern Region's top ranked wrestler for most of the season at the 145-weight class division. Forrest carries an outstanding 25-0 record with 22 pins into the playoffs.
"He should win the region and possibly the state championship this year," said Hall.
This past Saturday, South Lakes competed at the South County Duals competition at South County Secondary in Lorton. The Seahawks went 4-0 there with the wins coming over Jefferson High, 33-32; non-region opponent Gar-Field High, 52-27; Yorktown, 54-24; and Lake Braddock, 42-30.
Each of the four South Lakes' opponents at the South County Duals was a non-district opponent with the exception of Liberty District foe Jefferson. Yorktown (National District) and Lake Braddock (Patriot District) are both fellow members, along with South Lakes and Jefferson, of the Northern Region. Gar-Field High (Dale City) is a member of the Northwestern Region.
A week prior to the South County meet, South Lakes hosted Liberty District opponent Stone Bridge for the Seahawks' Senior Day festivities on Saturday, Jan. 22. South Lakes was victorious that day, 42-31.
South Lakes' eight seniors were recognized and honored during pre-match ceremonies. Those 12 graders were: Eduardo Molina (heavyweight), Belmin Rivera (215), Jake Slover (171), Kevin Canales (160), Haris Hafizi (152), George Ramirez (145), Justin Williams (135), and Andrew Goldberg (125).
South Lakes' Northern Region dual team wins this season have come over the following schools: Herndon, Washington-Lee, Langley, Woodson, Oakton, Madison, Mount Vernon, McLean, Stone Bridge, Jefferson and Yorktown. The Seahawks also defeated private school opponent Paul VI High of Fairfax.
Losses have come to Marshall, Fairfax and Chantilly.
Following the district championships this weekend, South Lakes will have several wrestlers, depending on how they fare at districts, competing at the Northern Region Championships, set to take place Feb. 10, 11, and 12 at Fairfax High School.