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HVA grapplers rally, repeat in 3-AAA
Hawks edge Halls thanks to ‘heavy push,’ Maxwell drama

Looking for instructions from head coach Rudy Furman is Tim Vara, Hardin Valley Academy wrestler in the 152-pound class (blue). Vara has Halls opponent Lowell Fields in a bind during this District 3-AAA championship showdown at HVA Saturday afternoon- Dan Barile/farragutpress
Beating a friendly rival with last-second dramatics, Nicholas Maxwell helped Hardin Valley Academy wrestling claim a second consecutive District 3-AAA Dual Meet crown.

Maxwell, ranked No. 4 statewide in the 130-pound weight class, scored all five of his points in the final 10 seconds to overcome a 2-0 deficit and beat Halls’ Alex LaRue 5-2.

Maxwell’s win turned out to be huge in the District championship showdown versus the Red Devils Jan. 22 at HVA, as Hardin Valley claimed the crown by rallying to win 42-33.

“I just kept going, I could feel him slowly giving it in,” said Maxwell, who became eligible in mid-season and improved his record to 10-1. “I was just shaking it, shaking it, shaking it, trying my hardest.

“I was just waiting for the right moment, and the last five seconds was the right moment, I guess,” Maxwell added. “I scooted into him and he let his defense down.

“But Alex is a good buddy.”

Rudy Furman, HVA head coach, said Maxwell was “over here on our side of the mat, right in front of our bench, and I think he just fed off the team and knew that he had to do something big.

“He dug down deep and did what he had to do right there at the end to win.”

Junior Jackson Beggs (125) is a two-time state qualifier (103 as a freshman, 119 as a sophomore) whose 16-6 record includes a 4-2 mark wrestling at 135 and 130 this season.

Holding off a late charge from Halls’ Calvin Giles to win 7-4, Beggs said his Hawks “knew it would be close” beating the Red Devils.

Looking to claim the 125 Individual Region 2 Tournament championship Feb. 11, Beggs said he’s “got a good chance” because “I’ve wrestled all but two or three kids in the region.”

Tim Vara (152), a state qualifier at 145 last season who won with a first period pin Saturday (21-9 season record), said his move up one weight class has been “a big adjustment” facing “definitely stronger” opponents.

Heavyweight Alejandro Guizar (22-6) wrapped up the 3-AAA title for HVA thanks to a first-period pin against Halls’ Aaron Heathman.

“I just thought I had to get my work done because it was all on me,” Guizar said. “I had to bring my A-game and do what I do best.”

Guizar said he’s “more aggressive” than last year when he finished one match win short of qualifying for state.

“I’ve figured out that if you push people enough they will break,” Guizar added.

“And if you just don’t break before your opponent, you will win.”

Other Hawks winners against Halls Saturday were Anthony Moore (pin at 119), David Vaigneur (first-period pin at 160), Patrick McGlinchy (first-period pin at 189) and Zech Kaser (second-period pin at 215).

About having a solid core of wrestlers in the heavier weight classes, Furman said, “We’ve been that way all year long. We’re kinda young and inexperienced at the lighter weights.

“We’re picking up a little bit there in the middle, we’re hit and miss,” he added. “Once we hit about 152 and up, we feel real confident that our guys are just about as good as anybody else around.

“If we can just keep it close to that point, we feel like we can start to take control of a match at those upper weights.”

Other Hawks wrestlers contributing this season include Scott Impellizeri (171), Joshua Uphoff (145), Theo Smith (135/140), Landyn Behn (135), Tanner Henry (112) and Mackenzie Laney (103).

Senior Ben Vaigneur compiled an 11-4 record at 189 before suffering a season-ending torn ligament in his foot.

With a 16-5 dual meet record, HVA — along with Halls — advanced to the Region 2-AAA Dual Meet at West Tuesday, Jan. 25 (after deadline) versus District 4-AAA runner-up Knoxville Catholic. Winner earned a state tourney trip.


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