By Marty Gordon
Typically this time of year, Christiansburg High School’s wrestling team is hosting the Class 3 region D tournament, and in the past, that has included the team bringing home another trophy. But over the past three years, the end-result has become tougher and tougher.
Christiansburg had won 18 straight titles before they were dethroned in 2019 by New Kent, which was led by a former Christiansburg assistant coach.
Injuries and the lack of depth have the Blue Demons forfeiting 5 to 6 weight classes at almost every meet.
Cody Hughes, who is in his second year at the helm of the program, said this week Christiansburg wrestling is in a rebuilding phase.
“We actually have 10 wrestlers, but two got injuries at the start of the season,” Hughes said. “I think there’s a combination of possible reasons that the numbers are why they are. What’s important is it’s getting turned around.”
Over the years, this has been one of the most consistent programs in the state of Virginia and maybe the entire Southeast. The Blue Demons have produced three NCAA All Americans, five four-time state champs, six three-time state champs, 50 state champs, and 86 state place winners.
The 17 team championships makes Christiansburg one of the top programs in both the state of Virginia and the Eastern United States.
In most cases, the current Christiansburg wrestlers were not even born when their school won the
first state championship of the consecutive run.
While Hughes knows this year is not what local wrestling fans have become accustomed to, he remains optimistic for the future.
“The future of the program is to build a system for young athletes to become both better wrestlers and better people,” Hughes said. “We want them not only to gain confidence on the mat but to learn important attributes that will help them succeed in life.”
Hughes says he feels the school has the correct pieces to get the program moving back into the right direction toward what it once was.