The Internet was still in its fledgling stages. Michael Jordan had just returned to the NBA. And Eric Galloway wasn’t even born yet.
The year was 1995, and it was the last time a Culpeper County High School had a state wrestling champion. Once a state powerhouse in AA, the Blue Devils 13 individual champions from 1971 to 1995. Then, a drought.
That drought came to an end after 22 years this season, when Galloway pinned Abingdon’s William Seymore in the state finals.
It was the culmination of a wrestling career that began at age 7, and it fulfilled a goal Galloway had of bringing a state title back to Culpeper.
“I didn’t pay much attention to it until it got closer to the end of the season,” Galloway said. “I just used it as the final motivation to bring a state title back to Culpeper.”
Performing under the intense spotlight in the state tournament was a motivator for Galloway, who finished third in the state in 2016.
“It’s exhilarating, it’s a pure adrenaline rush,” Galloway said. “It’s really easy to get amped up and ready to go.”
Galloway knew he had to capitalize and score fast against Seymore, and in what he called “ball of craziness” found himself on top of Seymore with his opponent’s shoulders on the mat at the 3:59 mark.
He jumped up and celebrated with a yell as his father David, a coach at CCHS, cheered on.
For Galloway, it was the perfect cap to his wrestling career which began in the Culpeper Wrestling Federation.
“I tried a lot of sports as a kid and I just fell in love with wrestling,” Galloway said.
He honed his craft in the Culpeper league and also wrestled with the Birds of Prey in Fauquier County.
But now with his state title in tow, he’s hanging up his singlet.
He will attend Radford University in the fall after graduating from CCHS and plans to study physical therapy with the ultimate goal of earning his doctorate.
“That was the thing for me, to finish on a high note,” Galloway said. “It’s getting pretty tiring. I’d like to pursue what is important in life now. It took a lot of work, but it all paid off in the end.”
Culpeper County High School state champions
Year Wrestler Weight class
1971 Bob Blosser 105
1971 John Fotenos 167
1975 Charles Reeves 105
1976 Mike Delligatti 112
1976 Terry Corbin 119
1977 Mike Sprouse 126
1978 John Strother 126
1979 John Strother 132
1979 John Carlton 126
1985 Fred Santinga – 185
1986 Fred Santinga – 185
1988 Edward Lane Hvwght
1995 Jason Inskeep 275
2017 Eric Galloway 171