Bay Rivers wrestlers ready for Virginia Duals

Six Bay Rivers District schools will participate Friday and Saturday in the 32nd Annual Virginia Duals wrestling tournament at the Hampton Coliseum: New Kent, Smithfield, Grafton, Poquoson, Tabb and York. Defending district champion New Kent faces the biggest challenge of the group, beginning competition at 9 a.m. on Friday in the top-flight National High School Division against Nazareth High of Pennsylvania.

"A lot of coaches want to protect their schedule and, to a degree, don't want to run to the competition," said John Swartz, president of the Peninsula Wrestling Association, which organizes the Duals. "The fear of going 0-3 is enough to keep them from wanting to do it.

"Then you have coaches like Mike Faus (of New Kent) who's saying, `My guys are good and they need good, strong competition, so I'll take the National (draw).' We asked him to do it, but he's saying, `My guys are going to take some lumps, but they can handle it.'

"I love coaches who don't want to take the easy route to a 15-1 dual meet record and want to put their guys in against all of these (prospective) college wrestlers."

Smithfield opens in the middle level American Division, at 5 p.m. on Friday against Millbrook. The Packers are the No. 8 seed in the 16-team field.

"Watch out for Smithfield," Swartz said. "They're on the cusp of some great years."

The four other BRD schools are in the Black and Blue Division. At 5 p.m. Friday, Grafton faces No. 1 Brookville and Poquoson meets No. 4 Cape Henry, then at 7 p.m. Tabb goes up against No. 3 Chancellor and No.7 York battles Currituck County.