SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — In February, Staunton River wrestling reached the pinnacle, taking home the Virginia High Schools League Class 3 team title for the first time ever.

It’s the school’s second team title in any sport since boys’ outdoor track won a state championship in 1996. And this victory was the culmination of many individual dreams coming true.

“It’s been a journey since I’ve been four years old. Been dreaming of this since I was a kid and now it’s come true,” Brady Barns said.

Barns, the 157 pound state champion and Golden Eagles sophomore, was one of five Staunton River grapplers who made the top of the podium at the Class 3 state championships held at the Salem Civic Center.

His teammate, Noah Nininger won gold in the 132 pound division, overcoming a season of adversity.

“I went through a lot of sickness and injuries this year and I got only 20 matches on the whole season. I was out for a couple of months but once I got back I started going hard. I had to get my cardio back up. It’s just been a fun time,” Nininger said.

Senior Bo Ice’s road to becoming a champion was even longer, enduring three knee surgeries and nearly giving up hope before winning the 150 pound title in his first appearance at the state meet.

“Lots of nerves. I’m just so blessed that I have great coaches and a great wrestling team that gets me better. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here,” Ice said. “So happy that my dad got to see this cuz it’s been just as tough for me and him both and lots of tears you know. With the knee and everything. I’m just so grateful to be here.”

Colin Martin (113 pounds) and Macon Ayers (165 pounds) complete the quintet of Staunton River gold medalists. While an individual title was the goal for each of them, the team championship is the cherry on top for a program that finished third a year ago.

“It’s what we’ve been preaching all year long, even last year we came up short,” Ayers said. “Third place, but a bunch of freshmen last year. We knew just put in a lot of work in the offseason and our coaches just constantly preaching to us that we’re number one, every day.”

And with the majority of the team winning as underclassmen, this could be the beginning of a dynasty in Class 3 wrestling.