SALEM, Va. — Union has had its share of good wrestlers in its eight years of existence. Now it can boast a state champion as the Bears' Mason Polier won the 195-pound title in Class 2 Saturday at the combined Class 1, 2 and 3 championships in the Salem Civic Center.
Polier won a 12-7 decision over Cole Cummins of Maggie Walker in the finals. He wrestles best on his feet and scored often Saturday, also winning, 12-5, over Buffalo Gap's Ryan Benitez in the semifinals that morning.
"Coming into my finals match, I felt comfortable in neutral all tournament long and I was getting to my shots well," Polier explained. "I knew that’s the position I wanted to wrestle in, and the game plan was to wrestle smart and not try any risky moves and it worked out.
"I took (Cummins) down seven times, and just kept pushing the pace all match long, and just stayed in a good position."
It was the third straight year the junior has placed at the state tournament. He finished fourth as a freshman and third as a sophomore.
He turned it around and turned his game up a notch to reach the finals this season.
"I turned it around this year just working hard in practice every single day and taking every single match just one at a time," Polier noted. "The goal this year was to win and I knew I was going to have to work hard and give 100 percent every single day leading up to the state tournament."
He says he's humbled by being the program's first state champ.
"It feels great and it’s also a great honor to hold that title at Union," he added.
Union's Bryce Guerrant reached the Class 2 finals, losing to Logan Smith by decision, 5-0, at 182 pounds.
Union teammate Braxton Fritz placed third at 170 pounds.
Central’s Brayden Spears placed third at 126 and his teammate, Jonah Phillips, placed fourth at 138 pounds. Lee's Luke Estes was fifth at 220 pounds.
In Class 1, Eastside had two fifth-place finishers: Robert Russell at 113 and Jason Marshall at 195 pounds. Castlewood freshman Cole Jessee was second at 113 pounds.
Castlewood had two state champs in Class 1. Casey Bush won his second state title at 195 pounds and teammate Gunnar Jessee won his first state title with a 4-1 decision over Grundy's Matt McCowan in the 220-pound finals.
Grundy won the Class 1 state crown; Poquoson in Class 2 and New Kent won in Class 3.
1st Place - Championship Finals
106 - Karon Smith (Poq) dec. Tanner Jones (Gry), 9-3
113 - Brett Poultney (Poq) MD Cole Anders (Gry), 13-4
120 - Cole McCormick (Poq) MD Jack Smith (Clr), 11-3
126 - Cameron Wooldridge (FC) MD Dawson Allen (Gry), 15-4
132 - Caleb Fritz (Grm) dec. Ethyn Yates (Leb), 2-0
138 - RJ May (MW) dec. Joseph Chiappazzi (Poq), 7-1
145 - Justin Fritz (Grm) pin. Cullen Bendel (BG), 1:34
152 - Pierce Bryant (App) MD Jonah Turpin (FC), 12-0
160 - Jacob Turpin (FC) dec. Brady Fincham (ER), 3-1
170 - Cole Stoots (Leb) pin. Daniel Parrish (R-H), 3:49
182 - Logan Smith (Leb) dec. Bryce Guerrant (U), 5-0
195 - Mason Polier (U) dec. Cole Cummins (MW), 12-7
220 - Neil Clayton Jr. (Blu) pin. Seth Fitzgerald (BG), 4:59
285 - Will Moss (Mrn) pin. Levi Walker (JR), 4:46
1st Place - Championship Finals
106 - Kaleb Horn (Gru) dec. Jude Robson (Riv), 2-0
113 - Camden Cook-Cash (Riv) p. Cole Jessee (Cas), 5:09
120 - Sebastian Lamrouex (GW) dec. Ty Townsend (Gal), 10-5
126 - Brandon Owens (Gru) dec. GW Shultz (Riv), 3-1 (SV-1)
132 - Chris Stiltner (Gru) maj. dec. Will Castanon (GW), 12-0
138 - Joshua Spurlin (Glx) dec. Lane Cash (Riv), 7-0
145 - Hunter Sams (Riv) p. Jon Young (Nwd), 1:21
152 - Gabe Fiser (Gru) TF Dorian Delp (RR), 15-0 (5:38)
160 - Caxton Vaught (Gal) p. Wyatt Sage (RR), 3:28
170 - Derek Endicott (Gru) dec. Ross Via (RR), 8-1
182 - Ethan Martin (RR) p. Ritchie Smith (Gru), 2:28
195 - Casey Bush (Cas) p. Adam Wilmore (Lan), 3:28
220 - Gunnar Jessee (Cas) dec. Matthew McCowan (Gru), 4-1
285 - Michael McCowan (Gru) p. Kaijhuan Trent (Cmb), 2:46