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Friday, May 24, 2024

Virginia Wrestling Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2024

(Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Facebook page)

RICHMOND — The Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum recently announced seven inductees for its Class of 2024.

Rick Boyd, Johnny Curtis, James Diehl, Brian Harman, Matt Small, Raymond Webb, and Talena Williams will receive the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award “presented to coaches, officials and contributors who have dedicated a lifetime serving Virginia’s youth through the sport of wrestling.”

2024 inductees 

  • Rick Boyd brought glory to the small town of Rural Retreat. In 2014, his school with 310 enrolled students won the Virginia 1A state championship, the first state championship in any sport in the school’s 140-year history. 
  • Johnny Curtis lives out the command of “be strong and of good courage,” sharing this message wherever he goes — wrestling in high school at Fairfax, in college at George Mason University, internationally as part of the Foxcatcher program and Athletes in Action; then through youth programs in the Capital Area Wrestling League, the Marauders Youth Wrestling Club, and FCA Wrestling. 
  • James Diehl is an Army veteran who became a leader among officials. He came up through the ranks of folkstyle wrestling at Culpeper High School and while deployed in Germany developed his skills in freestyle and Greco-Roman, winning championships for the U.S. Army team and qualifying for the World Team Trials. This led to a lengthy career in officiating all three styles of wrestling with the Peninsula Wrestling Officials Association. 
  • Brian Harman guided Northampton High School to unprecedented achievements. His teams won 27 district championships, four regional titles, and the Division 1 state championship in 1995. Over the years, he won better than 500 dual meets. 
  • Matt Small wrestled for Coach Steve Martin’s Great Bridge High School, in 1996. With that passion, he successfully launched the wrestling program at Grassfield High School, which led him to the head job at Cox High School restoring the glory of the Falcons with a state championship in 2010. Coming full circle, he returned to Great Bridge, winning states in 2014 and 2019, along with nine district and six regional titles to add to his resume. 
  • Raymond Webb is the “heart and soul of Grundy wrestling”, as a faithful assistant for 35 years, helping to coach 143 of the 149 state champions that Grundy has produced. His work extends to the community, serving in law enforcement as a Narcotics Investigator, where his courage was twice recognized with the Valor Award from the Sheriff’s Office of Buchanan County. 
  • Talena Williams grew up in the rugged wrestling territory of Grundy, VA. She wrestled with the boys, which was rare in the 80s, and enjoyed champion success. This drive and ambition led her to an impressive medical career. She was a leading participant in two important reforms: a weight management program for wrestling, and a concussion protocol adapted for all sports. In addition, Talena served as head athletic trainer at the VHSL 1/2/3 state tournament and Grundy’s respected Agie Skeens Memorial Tournament for several decades. 

The Class of 2024 will be honored on April 20 at the Virginia Crossings Resort and Conference Center in Glen Allen. There will be a reception at 4:30 p.m. followed by a banquet and induction ceremony at 6 p.m. Tickets are $90 per person and can be purchased at online. 

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