Josh McCray, Cave Spring Knights freshman, celebrated his first AA Region IV Championship win at the 2013 tournament held in Christiansburg last weekend. McCray is only in his third year of wrestling, but he made his mark on the mat and in the record books. McCray’s regional championship win is the first ever for a freshman at Cave Spring High School. This win follows six other medals this season for McCray, including the River Ridge District and Brawl in the Hall titles.
“It felt really good to win, but right now I’m just focusing on doing well at state,” McCray said.
“As a whole, I’m pleased with the outcome but was hoping for better,” said Coach Nininger. “I’m very proud of McCray for stepping up as a freshman. I believe he’s the first freshman from Cave Spring to ever win a region championship.”
When asked how he felt about the results of the tournament, Nininger said, “I had expected Mobley to win the semifinal round against Strokus of HVHS because Mobley defeated him at the district tournament by 7-2 decision the week prior. At the regional tournament, Mobley was pushed back to third place when Strokus won the semifinal round.”
Nininger added, “Plunkett is as good as the rest of them, and I had expected him to qualified for state and Austin Amos would have been another qualifier but he’s still recovering from injury. Eight at State was the goal.”
Last year, Cave Spring sent seven to the AA state wrestling tournament. Three of those wrestlers graduated last year, and one relocated to another district. The team is doing well to send seven again this year.
When asked what the team has done to prepare for state, Nininger said, “The team has worked hard all year with a rigerous training schedule. At the beginning of the season, the team was very young. More than half of our wrestlers are freshmen. They’ve had a lot of experience since pre-season though, and they no longer wrestle like freshmen,” Nininger said confidently. “We’re ready.”
Nininger’s predictions for state is to place within the top 10 as a team and to have four of five state placers.
– Submitted by Danielle Apple