Nine local wrestlers will participate in the NCHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Greensboro Coliseum this weekend.
Forbush’s Storm Long and Dylan Edwards and East Wilkes’ Joseph Shumate won regional championships Sunday, while six others qualified after their respective regional competitions were completed.
Long, a 132-pound senior with a record of 38-3; and Edwards, a 195-pound senior, won their classes at the 2A Midwest Region held at Ashe County High School. Shumate, a junior heavyweight, won his class at the 1A West Region held at Robbinsville High School.
Taking third in their respective weight classes in the 1A West competition were Elkin sophomore Said Javier at 120 pounds and East Wilkes’ Derrick Woodie at 145. Javier is now 31-15 for the season, while Woodie is 40-5.
Taking fourth in their respective weight classes in the 1A West competition were Jack McCormick at 106 and Garrett Stokes at 195 from Starmount; East Wilkes freshman Josh Parker at 113; and Elkin’s Thomas Bartley at 170.
It was a long weekend with the tournaments getting pushed back from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday due to last week’s weather and the resulting ice. Starmount Coach David Oliver said he and his team did not get back from Robbinsville until early Monday morning.
McCormick, Oliver said, “had a good tournament. He started last year as a freshman and didn’t even know how to stand.
“He did exactly what I thought he would do. I was pretty ecstatic with the way he performed.”
Stokes will be making his second trip to the state championships. “Last year opened his eyes,” Oliver said. “He’s coming back this year hungry.”
The season ended for six other Rams in Robbinsville: 126-pounder Walker Perdue, 132-pounder Erik Teodoro, 138-pounder Austin Holcomb, 152-pounder Austin Baucom, 170-pounder Dalton Oliver, and 182-pounder Ian Fennell.
Oliver said it was good for Perdue, a freshman; Teodoro, a sophomore; and Holcomb, a junior, to get a win in the regional tournament. “They got a lot of experience just going down there and getting a win,” Oliver said.
Oliver said Holcomb, a second-year wrestler, “had a pretty good year.”
Baucom, a junior, needed one more win to reach states, but fell 4-2 in overtime. His other loss was to the eventual champion in his class.
Dalton Oliver, a sophomore, lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, in the quarterfinals to Elkin’s Bartley. The loss made it “a long road back” as his father the coach said. Dalton won two more matches before falling in the consolation semifinals.
Fennell, Starmount’s lone senior, lost in much the same manner as Dalton Oliver. At 182, Fennell lost in the quarterfinals; won two matches; then lost in the consolation finals.
“The hardest thing is when you tell a senior ‘you gave me everything you had’ and you know it’s over,” Coach Oliver said. “He gave me four years of the hardest work you can imagine. He was always ready to do extra. He was the leader of our team.”
Still, Coach Oliver was happy with the trip top Robbinsville. “I took eight and all eight got a win,” he said.
The top four in each weight class qualified for the state tournament.
The 2A championships will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday. The 1A championships will begin 2 p.m. Friday.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.