Young Dukes learning quickly

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nearly half of the lineup for the Cumberland County High School varsity wrestling team is new this season, but the Dukes have been holding their own on the mat.

They carried a dual meet record of 7-7 into this week.

“This year, we’ve got a lot of new guys trying the sport, and they’ve done really well,” Cumberland Assistant Coach Lew Longenecker said. “A lot of them have picked it up pretty quickly.”

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The Dukes are not able to fill all 14 weight classes, but they have been able to fill most of them.

“Some schools only have six or seven weights (filled),” Longenecker said. “Most duals, we field 10 weights, so as far as small schools, as far as 1A and 2A schools, we’re probably in the middle as far as the amount of weights that are filled.”

On Cumberland’s roster this season are six veterans of the wrestling program, including seniors Davidrick Brooks and Kavon Foster.

“Both of those guys wrestled with us as middle schoolers, so they have a good bit of experience,” Longenecker said.

Foster, wrestling in the 195-pound weight class, entered the week with a record of 17-1 this season.

“Kavon is a very technical wrestler,” Longenecker said. “He has a lot of high-level holds that he uses in his matches, and again, he’s been there before. He’s wrestled a lot of matches. He’s been to a lot of different tournaments, and that experience helps him out.”

Foster qualified to compete in the state tournament during his sophomore year.

Brooks, wrestling in the 132-pound class, has a record of 14-3.

“He’s in shape, works very hard in practice. He’s very tough, a very tough competitor. He does not get down on himself and just is an extremely hard worker. He’s experienced. He’s a two-time state qualifier, so he’s been there before.”

Brooks qualified for the state tournament last year when he was also a regional champion.

“And then his freshman year, he qualified for states as a 106-pounder,” Longenecker said.

Other veteran wrestlers on Cumberland’s roster this year include junior heavyweight Kaijhaun Trent, who has a record of 9-1, sophomore heavyweight Thomas Trowbridge, who has a 5-2 record, sophomore 138-pounder Trequan Trent, who has a 6-9 record, and junior 195-pounder Nickolas Yoder, who has a 10-4 record.

“Nick wrestled as a middle schooler in his eighth-grade year and came back and returned to the team this year and has done very, very well,” Longenecker said.

The coach credited Trowbridge for being a leader in the wrestling room, and he also cited a few leaders by example.

“Trevor Dayton is new to the sport, and he is a very strong leader by example,” Longenecker said of the sophomore, and he also highlighted junior Justin Long and sophomore Jason Long as new team members setting a good example to follow.

The Dukes travel to Amelia County High School on Thursday for the James River District tournament, and for their Senior Night on Friday, they host Monticello and Cosby high schools.