Viper wrestling places 9th at state, Freshman won individual title

The Vandegrift wrestling team won its third consecutive regional championship Feb. 17: top row (L-R): Jon Jording, Kendall Holmes, Grant Riddle, Luke Sloan, Charlie Trujillo, Remy Jacops; Middle row (L-R): Head Coach Paul Muck, Dawson Taylor, Justin Orlando, Dakota Kleffner, Matt Sanders, Noah Gochberg, Jayelen Gray, Asst. Coach Andy Peterson, Asst. Coach Steve Fanara; Bottom row: (L-R): Ted Waugh, Cole Waters. Not pictured: Wesley Holmes (Sr., 220 lbs., injured).

By CHRIS TAYLOR, Contributor

Vandegrift placed ninth out of 81 6A teams at the state wrestling tournament held in Houston on Feb. 23-24. Freshman Noah Gochberg won the state title at 113 lbs.  

Gochberg had the toughest path to the championship in his bracket, beating the second, third, and fourth place wrestlers in head-to-head matches. Gochberg’s state championship is the first in school history for both a freshman and in 6A competition. He finished the season with a record of 49-3.

Sophomore Luke Sloan placed fourth place at state in the 126 lbs. weight class. Sloan won four matches at the state meet, including over the third and the fifth state-ranked wrestlers.  He finished the season with a record of 55-5.  

The other Viper state qualifiers competed well at the state tournament, ending successful seasons: senior and team captain Grant Riddle (152 lbs.) ended with a season record of 44-13, senior Dakota Kleffner (170 lbs.) finished with a record of 48-10, and freshman Remy Jacops (106 lbs.) had a record of 43-10.

Freshman Noah Gochberg won first place at state.

Photos by Jim Kleffner

Luke Sloan placed 4th at state tournament.