VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — North Carolina college basketball fans are usually well aware of the number of McDonald’s All Americans that are members of their favorite teams recruiting class. The McDonald’s All American Game features the finest high school players in the country on one stage.
The National High School Coaches Association Championships might be described as the wrestling counterpart to the McDonald’s All American game. On March 23-25, about 4,000 wrestlers competed in this event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Elkin High School freshman C.J. Henderson was the local star of the Elkin contingency that participated. Henderson finished second in the 285-pound weight class in the freshman division and earned All American honors. Henderson is the first Elkin High student to achieve this status.
Competing in a bracket of 19 wrestlers, Henderson defeated Erich Sidle of New Jersey, Sebastian Khamis of Pennsylvania and Seth Schneider of Ohio to reach the finals. In the finals, Henderson fell to Dylan Fairchild of Georgia.
Elkin senior Jude Lloyd also turned in a very respectable performance in the 138-pound senior division. In a bracket of 81 wrestlers that had attained more than 30 state championships, Lloyd finished tied for 17th. He defeated George Coleman of New Jersey, Nicholas Vasquez of North Carolina and Asiel Flores of Kansas. He fell to Garrett Bauer of New York and Selwyn Porter of South Carolina.
Elkin sophomore Zach Tilley also finished tied for 17th in a bracket of 35 wrestlers in 220-pound sophomore division. Tilley pinned Cody Piovesan of Maryland. He was defeated by Stone Summers of Virginia and Dylan Nirk of Minnesota.
Elkin junior Tyjae Townsend competed in the 120-pound junior division. He fell to Charles Huffman of Florida and Spenser Harris of North Carolina.
Central Middle School’s Jeremiah Price also attained All American honors in 105-pound middle school division by placing fifth. Price defeated Joey Bertrand of Georgia, Alex Hanley of Pennsylvania, Khalil Bourjeili of Connecticut and Ryan Summerlin of Alabama (twice). He was defeated by Kelvin Griffin of Maine and Kodiak Cannedy of Tennessee.