The Girl’s Wrestling Team concluded their season with the Florida Girls State Tournament hosted in Kissimmee, Florida. This year’s tournament had 317 women wrestlers representing 118 schools competing across the 16 weight classes. Many brackets held over 25 wrestlers, all competing for a top 6 placement.
Our entire wrestling program, boy’s and girl’s teams, has overcome several challenges throughout the season. Most notably, finding a way to continue with the season amid the Covid-19 pandemic safely. Limitations on live competition, new protocols for practice, and new state protocols were faced with the same attitude wrestlers bring to the mat.
No matter what the challenge, we will face it and overcome it. And that attitude yielded historic results as Admiral Farragut Academy BlueJackets placed its second Women’s Wrestling State Medalist in the 7-year history of the program.
Wrestlers Madison Chiaro and Riley Lancaster completed their season, unable to secure a victory during the State Tournament; however, their motivation to be the next girl’s state medalist is clear with how they battled all season. Riley improved on her previous season’s victory total by securing four victories in regular-season matches, all while overcoming a broken wrist that forced her out of early competition. Madison “Maddy” Chiaro stepped up from team manager to wrestler at the Winter Break, deciding to face the challenges rather than watch them mat side. Maddy secured her first career victory in her first tournament while showing consistent improvement throughout the season.
Team Captain Madison Moore completed her season with a 1-2 finish in the State Tournament in one of the most challenging and competitive weight classes in the country. After her elimination, Madison continued to show the tremendous leadership she’s shown all season, continuing to prepare and motivate our remaining competitors for Day 2 of the tournament. Madison finishes the season with an 8-3 record and finishes her high school career with 42 victories and multiple individual tournament placements. Madison has recently decided to pursue continuing her wrestling career in college and was coincidentally approached by the coach for Elmira College Women’s Wrestling Team at the state tournament. No decision yet, but the opportunities are there for her.
Maeve Case and Grace Vernine continued to Day 2 of the competition by securing multiple victories during the first day in their weight classes. Maeve competed in the very tough 112-pound weight class where multiple nationally-ranked wrestlers from Florida compete. In only her second year wrestling and first year wrestling for Farragut, Maeve was able to make it to the “blood round,” one match away from placement. Although she lost to the eventual 4th place wrestler, this still means Maeve was in the top 8 of the 26 girls competing in this very tough weight class. Maeve’s sights are firmly set on returning next year as team captain and forging state champions out of all our wrestlers, including herself.
Meanwhile, Grace Vernine secured her guaranteed placement and place in school history on Day 1 with an incredible upset quarter-final victory by pin over a four-year, seasoned wrestler from Matanzas High School. Grace, a 9th grader and second-year wrestler, was guaranteed placement with that victory and continued to compete at the 162-pound weight class to finish 6th. Grace showed incredible progress this season and has been the epitome of hard work equaling success no matter what challenges, both physically and mentally. Grace is now only the second state medalist in Girl’s Wrestling history for Admiral Farragut Academy. Her progress, along with the entire team this season, leaves little doubt that more history will be made next season.