GREENSBORO - Four local wrestlers powered their way to the podium this weekend at the 1A and 2A North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Led by Cody Mathis’ individual title at 152 pounds, East Wilkes’ trio of Mathis, Zack Prevette and Zack Faircloth each placed in their respective bracket, while Forbush’s Storm Long finished fourth to round out the award-winners.
As the second seed from the West, Mathis cruised to the finals with wins over Dixon’s Eric Merritt and Daniel Bromar (Mitchell) to punch his ticket.
In the finals, Mathis battled past Robbinsville’s Joey Cable in overtime, winning a hard-fought 8-6 decision to capture the individual crown, East Wilkes’ first ever state champion.
Prevette followed suit reaching the championship match at 132 pounds.
The senior knocked off Jaleel Hitchins (North Rowan) in the opening round before pinning Robbinsville’s Kade Guffey early in the second round to secure his spot in the finals.
In the title bout, Prevette was blanked by Southwest Onslow’s Joby Armenta, the No. 1 seed from the east, 7-0 to cap his high school career with a silver medal.
At 195 pounds, Faircloth battled his way to a fourth place finish to give East three place-winners at states.
Faircloth opened his run with a pin of Curtis Jones (Ayden-Grifton) midway through the third period before falling in the semifinals to Dixon’s Tyler Hudson 6-5.
In the consolation bracket, the senior blanked Humberto Mendoza (Pamlico County) 4-0 to reach the third-place match.
Faircloth hung tough before falling 6-4 to East Surry’s Cody Caskill to secure the fourth-place medal.
Long rounded out the award-winners, wrestling five matches in the tournament, finishing fourth at 126 pounds on the 2A side.
The junior opened the tourney with a surprising 8-3 upset win over Brandon Britt (Topsail) - the top seed from the east. He followed up the win with a hard-fought 7-5 decision over Andrews-T.W.’s Nicouzi Mitchell to advance to the semifinals.
Long fell 5-2 in the semis to eventual champion Cody Walker from Cuthbertson to drop to the consolation bracket.
In the losers’ bracket, Long pinned Thomasville’s Louis Depree in the first round to punch his ticket to the finals, setting up a rematch with Mitchell for the bronze medal.
Mitchell got revenge in the finals, edging Long 6-1 to send the junior a fourth-place finish.
Forbush’s Dylan Edwards picked up a win in the 195-pound bracket, but failed to reach the podium. The junior topped East Lincoln’s Trenton Henderson 3-1 in overtime in the consolation bracket before losing his second match of the day to Bryce Baswell (Piedmont), 12-9,
Starmount’s trio of qualifiers struggled in the tournament, only picking up two combined wins.
Michael Wood recorded a pin of North Pitt’s Brian Staton in the losers’ bracket, but lost immediately after for the second time, ending his high school career.
Garrett Stokes picked up a win at 220, pinning Michael Eubanks (Durham School of the Arts) in just 48 seconds in the consolation bracket.
Sergio Sarinana went 0-2 at the tournament in his final matches.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.