Per the NWCA Coaches Poll recorded Feb. 23, 2021, UVA ranked in the top 25 (no. 20) in the nation.
R..J has met a lot of great guys on the team. He likes the attitude they have when they come to work.
And with UVA being a Virginia school, several of the wrestlers on the team – among them Atlee High School graduate Evan Buchanan and St. Christopher’s alumni Gray Hart, Erik Roggie and Loudon Hurt – have either attended school locally or are from around where he lives, so he knows some of them already.
He’ll also see familiar faces representing ACC teams on the other side of the mat. Two Powhatan High School alumni – Collin Gerardi, a four-time state champion at Powhatan High School and a 2020 NCAA Qualifier, and state placer Jarrett Tronge – both wrestle for UVA’s rival Virginia Tech.
“I’m really excited – I’ve always competed against kids in the area,” R.J. said, “so to get to further have that rivalry just gives you more motivation to better yourself.”
While R.J. is still growing, thus making it hard for him to project which weight class he will wrestle at in college, he currently expects that he’ll wrestle at 184 or 197 – “really just whatever the team needs me at.”
In high school, R.J., who attends and wrestles for Maggie Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, has excelled at three different weight classes in his career, winning the regional championships at 138, 160 and 182 pounds in his freshman, sophomore and junior years, respectively.