Bluestone grappler repeats amid trio of state qualifiers

Surrounded by Bluestone assistant coach Jayson Cody and head coach Troy Moore are state qualifiers Landon Lyles, Neil Clayton Jr. and Hudson Moore.

Bluestone’s Neil Clayton Jr. won the Region 2A championship at 220 pounds for the second straight season while Landon Lyles and Hudson Moore brought home third-place finishes from the Region 2A championship wrestling meet held Saturday at Poquoson High School.

All three qualified for the state championship meet, scheduled for Feb. 21-22 in Salem, Va., where Clayton, a senior who is the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state at 220 pounds, will attempt to defend his 2019 state championship.

A football standout and three-time district wrestling champion at 220 pounds, Clayton entered the regional meet the No. 1 seed and saw little competition until the championship match. Clayton said his finals opponent from Poquoson was ready for him.

“He was passive, defensive, trying to guard against all my stuff,” Clayton said of his opponent. “I had to use a little bit of strategy to beat him.”

That’s the gameplan going into the state championship meet as well. Clayton said he’s been scouting the competition, and the defending state champion at 195 pounds has moved up to 220 pounds this season.

“I’ve been practicing harder, but it’s also going to take more strategy,” Clayton said.

Meanwhile, Moore took third place at 180 pounds and Lyles finished third at 152 pounds. Both are first-time state qualifiers.

Also representing Bluestone at the regional meet were Donnell Vaughn, Kevin Price and Dravion Nelson.