Berryville youth wrestlers hold their own at Arkansas State Youth Wrestling Tournament
Athletes from the Berryville Youth Wrestling Team traveled to the Arkansas Youth State Wrestling Tournament in Rogers last weekend on Saturday, March 10. More than 22 teams from across the state participated, ranging in ages from 5 to 15.
With just 15 wrestlers, the Berryville contingent earned 7th place, scoring 151 points. That put them right behind 6th place Fayetteville, scoring 187 points with 29 wrestlers. The Little Rock Blue Birds took 1st place with 45 wrestlers who scored 499 points. Rogers placed 2nd; 463 points with 42 wrestlers. Bentonville came in 3rd with 45 wrestlers. Springdale placed 4th with 42 wrestlers and Ft. Smith placed 5th.
Berryville, in only their second year, won over teams from Conway, Russellville, Mountain Home, North Pulaski, Des Arc and CAC.
Berryville had two State Champions in Division 3 -- 120 lb. Colton Record and heavyweight C. J. Escobar. Both wrestlers pinned all of their opponents.
Berryville also had three state runner ups. In Division 1, 140 lb. Lane Graves lost to Ft. Smith's Matthew Nichols. In Division 2, 149 lb. Caleb Record lost to a Bentonville wrestler and 120 lb. Haydon Williams placed 2nd in Division 3.
Felton Knight placed 3rd after he lost his first match, coming back though the losers bracket to pin his next two opponents. He won his final match by points. Heavyweight Dayton Williams, Division 5, placed 4th; 160 lb. Tristan Payne, Division 5, placed 4th. Joel Sipes won his first two matches, then lost to a Little Rock wrestler. His first loss was to the eventual state champ who pinned all his opponents except Joel. Garrett Record won two matches after losing his first match to Glen Rose. Record then won his next two matches, losing to a Rogers wrestler in his final match.
All 15 Berryville wrestlers competing in the state tournament won at least one match. Makayla Knight, Gavin Wilson, Griffen Payne, Dusty Robertson and Jace Walker each won two matches.
Coach Seth Record said that all the wrestlers did well considering it was only the second year for the Berryville wrestling program. "Our young wrestlers did very good and have improved so much this year. I am very proud of our entire team," he said "This was the first year of wrestling for nine of the 15 that went to the state tournament. It was also an eye opening experience for the older kids."
"Many of our team members had to wrestle kids that have been wrestling for up to five years, and that makes a big difference," Record said. "The kids are already talking about next year and how hard they have to work to get better. We are working hard to prepare these young kids for the high school program. Wrestling can also be very beneficial to those who want to excel in football."