South County’s Scott Blackstone wrestled well early during his senior season, winning the 189-pound title at the NOVA Classic in mid-December. Near the end of January, however, Blackstone was out of shape and in a slump.
Determined to get back on track, Blackstone worked on his conditioning and set a goal of winning the Patriot District championship.
It turned out he could have aimed a little higher.
Blackstone captured the district title on Feb. 4, beating Annandale’s John McCollom. On Saturday, Feb. 12, Blackstone became the first South County wrestler to win a region championship, defeating McCollom by decision, 6-0, in the 189-pound championship match during the Northern Region Tournament at Fairfax High School.
"Districts, that’s what I wanted," Blackstone said. "I never thought this was possible, but here I am."
Blackstone’s effort helped South County finish third at regionals (118 points) one week after capturing the team district championship. Robinson won the regional championship with 260.5 points, followed by Westfield (208).
Hunter Manley (103 pounds, second), Bilal Ali (119, sixth), Brett Stein (140, third), Tyler Howard (145, fifth), Christian Moreno (160, second) and Josh Ash (285, fifth) also placed at regionals for the Stallions.
"Christian Moreno, who placed at 160, [has] been doing a lot of work [with Blackstone]," South County head coach Sean Anderson said. "Christian’s got such a good shot, [Blackstone’s] got a good shot, they just made each other better the last few weeks. They’ve really been going at it.
"Conditioning was a big thing [Blackstone] was having problems with. We really focused on getting in better shape."
The state meet will take place Feb. 18-19 at Robinson Secondary School.