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Williams quickly pins two opponents
Andrew Williams barely worked up a sweat on Friday in moving halfway toward his goal.
The Tabb senior pinned his first two opponents in the Group AA state wrestling tournament in a combined 1 minute, 54 seconds. Two more victories today and he's a rare four-time state champion.
"I plan on pinning my way to the championship," said Williams. "I'm excited."
Williams is one of 11 Bay Rivers District wrestlers who reached this morning's semifinals. Winners of the 9:30 semis wrestle for the state championship starting at 7 tonight at the Salem Civic Center.
The district advanced single wrestlers at 112 (Poquoson's Jeff Ogburn), 140 (York's Richie Gibson), 152 (Poquoson's Chase McAdams), 171 (Tabb's Chris Junio) and 215 (Lafayette's Shawn Sweaney)
At 125, Smithfield's Matt Graham and Poquoson's Patrik Foxworth advanced, along with Smithfield's Marshall Robinson and Poquoson's Louie Shearer at 130, and Williams and Poquoson's Tanner Tinsley at 135.
None of the semifinal matchups pit the Bay Rivers wrestlers against each other.
Williams faces Grundy's Ethan Owens in his 135-pound semifinal. They had a memorable 135- final last year with Williams coming from behind in the final 30 seconds.
Owens advanced with a pin and technical fall, but Williams said he barely watched.
"I usually don't like to watch them," he said. he said. "I don't care how they wrestle."
Five of the semifinalists are from Poquoson, but the Islanders lost Cody Silva, a state place-winner last year. Silva injured his ribs in January, came back two weeks ago, but hurt them again last week. He lost his first match 5-1 to Luke Rakes of Christiansburg, then his coaches pulled him out. Steffan Baker, also a place-winner last year, lost his quarterfinal match.
The Islanders are a point ahead of Grundy in the race for second behind Christiansburg, which leads with 89. Poquoson has 551/2 to Grundy's 541/2. Millbrook is fourth with 35 and Tabb seventh with 24.
Christiansburg has eight through to the semifinals, Poquoson has its five and Grundy has four. Each school also has wrestlers remaining in the consolation bracket.
McAdams won his 38th match of his unbeaten season with a third-period flurry in the semifinals after a 51-second pin in the first round. He was in a scoreless tie with James Wood's Josh Schaeffer after two periods, but it took all of 21 seconds in the third period to escape from his starting bottom position, take down Schaeffer and pin him.
"I didn't try anything big," McAdams said. "I didn't want to get caught. Then I turned it on in the third period."
Two of the most exciting matches were Graham's 11-7 victory over Gundy's Derek Anderson, who he also beat in the Virginia Duals, and Foxworth's 6-5 overtime decision over Blacksburg's William Jones.
"He was out for revenge," Graham said. "All I thought when he had me was this was my year to win state."
Foxworth won 6-5 on a takedown with three seconds left in overtime against William Jones of Blacksburg. Foxworth was up 3-1 before Jones' takedown as regulation ended, then Jones went up 5-3 with a reversal in overtime. Foxworth's escape made it 5-4 before his winning takedown.
GROUP AAfter two rounds, only Mathews' 285-pounder Garrett Fosdyck remains alive for a state championship. Schools from the Tidewater and Tri-Rivers districts sent seven wrestlers into the quarterfinals, but only Fosdyck is left.
Fosdyck had two pins. One took 1:11, the other 3:21.