9 Packer wrestlers medal, 1 claims championship at regionals

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

The Smithfield High School varsity wrestling team kicked-off its post-season wrestling action taking fifth place overall Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Class 4A Region A Wrestling Tournament at Phoebus High School.  

Nine of the 12 entrants placed in the tournament with one champion, five qualifying for the state tournament, and three additional alternates for state.  

Packers wrestlers and results by weight class are:

  • 106: Fresham Zackary Fuller, second place and state qualifier
  • 113: Sophomore Doc Peterson, fifth Place and alternate to state
  • 120: Freshman Aiden Lovern
  • 126: Junior Blaine Reynolds, champion and state qualifier
  • 132: Freshman Timothy Sanders
  • 138: Junior Nicholas White, fourth place and state qualifier
  • 144: Senior Logan Neal, second place and state qualifier
  • 150: Senior Jimmy Warf, sixth Place
  • 157: Senior Zavian Zellers, fourth place and state qualifier
  • 165: Junior Jackson Dickerson
  • 175: Junior Shane Hilton, fifth Place and alternate to state
  • 215: Sophomore Ceyan Higgs, fifth Place and alternate to state

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Zachary Fuller’s freshman season continues to improve weekly. Just more than 60 days ago, Fuller lost by technical fall to his semi-final regional opponent from Denbigh. This time, he was leading the entire match when he got the win by fall in the second period to advance to the regional finals.

Junior Blaine Reynolds had been battling back and forth with his regional finals opponent from Warhill the last couple weeks of the regular season. His opponent got a win the last time they met a week earlier in the Bay Rivers District Tournament.  Reynolds was holding a solid 11-4 decision over his opponent in the third period when the referee disqualified his opponent, making him Smithfield’s first regional champion since the 2021 tournament.  

Junior Nicholas White’s first season on the mat ended with a fourth place in regions and a trip to the state championship.

Senior Logan Neal was the third packer to reach the regional championship finals finishing in second place and earning his first trip to state. 

Senior Jimmy Warf’s consolation semi-final match, which determined which wrestler would qualify for state, was a nail-biter going back and forth, concluding with a very close 4-5 loss by decision to his opponent from Manor. It was a hard loss for every one who wanted to see all the seniors make the trip to state.  

Senior Zavian Zeller’s consolation semi-final match was also a nail-biter going back and forth. But this time it ended with Zavian winning the bout 7-5 in sudden victory overtime.  The coaches spoke to Zavian — who is also Warf’s training partner — after his match. He told them he was standing there watching Warf’s match right before his was filled with so much emotion that he had to win his match.

Three additional Packers ended their regional championships in fifth place, making them alternates to the state championship.  They are sophomore Doc Peterson, junior Shame Hilton and sophomore Ceyan Higgs. As alternates to state, if a wrestler from their weight class from their region is unable to participate in the state tournament, then the place winners in that weight class each move forward and the fifth place winners moves into the fourth place seeding in the state championship bracket. 

The state qualifiers return to the mats Feb. 16-17 to compete in the 4A state championship being held again this year at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.