Jack Bass’s first three trips to the state tournament ended in runner-up finishes and missed opportunities. The Robinson grappler knew he was good enough to win, but lacked the necessary discipline or focus to get the job done.
“I’ve won national tournaments,” Bass said, “but every year at state, I’ve never taken it as serious as I should.”
On Feb. 22, Bass made his fourth appearance in a state final. This time, he added the title of “VHSL State Champion” to his decorated wrestling career, which includes four region championships.
Bass defeated Battlefield senior Justus Weaver via 8-2 decision to win the 152-pound 6A state title during the 5A/6A state wrestling meet at Robinson Secondary School.
“This year, it feels amazing because I’ve never won this tournament and I’ve been to every national tournament for high school,” Bass said. “… Every year I’ve lost to someone I could beat, just simply because I overlooked them. I don’t think I was as focused as I should have been the last three years. It changed this year. I kind of came in here more focused. I really wanted it this year.”
Bass’ victory helped Robinson capture its third team state championship in the last four years. The Rams finished with 152.5 points. Colonial Forge finished runner-up with 132.5. Lake Braddock was sixth with 77.
“Every year I’ve lost to someone I could beat, just simply because I overlooked them. I don’t think I was as focused as I should have been the last three years. It changed this year. I kind of came in here more focused. I really wanted it this year.”
--- Robinson senior Jack Bass
Robinson produced four individual state champions: Bass (152), Zak DePasquale (160), Cole DePasquale (182) and Jake Pinkston (285). Zak DePasquale beat Grassfield senior Taylor Misuna via 6-3 decision. Cole DePasquale defeated Hayfield’s Antonia Agee by 3-1 decision, and Pinkston beat Stafford junior Sebastian Silva via 3-1 decision.
Lake Braddock Has Three Reach Finals
The Lake Braddock wrestling team had an individual reach the finals in each of the first three weight classes. Darius Wiles won the 113-pound championship moments after watching his twin brother, Dante Wiles, lose a 15-14 decision to Cox’s Oleksiy Onufriyenko in the 106-pound final.
“It was really tough,” Darius Wiles said. “It was all mental. I couldn’t let his match affect my match. … It made me feel bad, but I had to fight through it.”
Darius Wiles defeated Cox’s Landon Loalbo via 2-1 decision.
After the Wiles brothers, Lake Braddock’s Ryan Haskett wrestled in the 120-pound final, but lost to Colonial Forge’s Joshua Nail via 7-3 decision.
South County’s Manley Wins State Title
South County’s Hunter Manley made his fourth trip to the state tournament and came away with his first state championship.
The senior grappler defeated Robinson junior Austin Riggs by injury default to win the 132-pound championship.
“[Coming up short at states] kept me working hard, definitely,” Manley said. “It’s also good that I’ve been here so many times, it just felt like another tournament.”