McLean wrestler Conor Grammes, top, won the 6A 152-pound state championship on Feb. 20 at Robinson Secondary School.
Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.
McLean junior Conor Grammes entered Friday’s VHSL state wrestling tournament with a different mindset and left with a different result.
Disappointed with his performances at the 2013 and 2014 state tournaments, Grammes approached the 2015 competition with a cool confidence. After a grueling victory in the semifinals, Grammes captured what he came for.
Grammes took home the 6A 152-pound state championship, beating South County’s Jacob Wassif via 5-2 decision in the final on Feb. 20 at Robinson Secondary School.
“It feels pretty good to be honest,” said Grammes, who also won Conference 6 and 6A North region titles in 2015. “Both of the last two years [were] kind of upsetting at states --- I struggled a little bit. ... Going in my freshman and sophomore year, I was really nervous. I didn’t really focus as much on warming up properly because I was nervous.
“This state tournament, I went in confident, thinking that I deserved to be a state champion and it made it a big difference in the way I wrestled.”
Grammes earned a trip to the 152-pound final by defeating Herndon’s Samuel Milligan in the semifinals, 6-3.
“In my mind, that was my finals match,” Grammes said. “I knew that was going to be a real grind-out. Me and Sam, we’ve been wrestling together since we were in first grade. ... I was gassed [toward the end of the match]. I had no energy left. It was straight who wanted it more.”
Fellow McLean wrestler Gavin Legg finished runner-up in the 160-pound bracket, losing to Oscar Smith’s Seldon Wright in the final via third-period technical fall, 26-11.
McLean finished seventh in the team standings with a score of 32. Colonial Forge dominated the competition, winning the team title with a score of 147. Centreville finished runner-up (57.5), followed by Robinson (51), Westfield (48), Battlefield (47) and Oscar Smith (37.5).
Due to inclement weather concerns, the VHSL condensed the two-day event into a one-day tournament. Friday’s competition lasted past midnight.
Other 6A individual winners included: Centreville’s Victor Echeverria (113) and Tyler Love (195), Westfield’s Justin Yorkdale (132) and Austin Knies (285), and Robinson’s Austin Riggs (145) and Cole DePasquale (182).