Two roar to Slam titles
Published 9:10 am Thursday, December 10, 2015
Hey, we all realize it’s early in the season. Far too early to make any big judgments about Davie’s wrestling team and how far it could go this season.
Still, you can’t help but get excited after Davie finished fifth out of 46 teams in the Southern Slam at Eastside High (S.C.) on Dec. 4-5. The Slam is one of the toughest tournaments around.
“We did really good as a team,” said senior Isaiah Olmedo, who finished first at 182 while junior Hunter Smith triumphed at 113. “Hunter did really good. Tommy Trader and Kyle McCune both placed.”
Two days before the War Eagles ventured to South Carolina, they beat up on North Surry and Reynolds in a tri-meet at Davie. Both were snoozes, with Davie claiming 27 of 28 weight classes.
In a 75-0 wipeout of N. Surry, Hunter Strickland, Crayton Wise, Tristan Merritt, I. Olmedo, Spencer Wilson, Anthony Olmedo, Smith and Thad Vandiver had pins. David Sigmon won by technical fall. Isaiah Whitley won by major decision. Josh Shore and Trader won decisions. McCune and Jesus Olmedo received forfeits.
Later in the evening in the Central Piedmont Conference opener, it was a virtual repeat against Reynolds. McCune, J. Olmedo, Trader, Vandiver and Luke Bolmer pounded out pins as Davie rolled 71-6, improved to 8-0 on the season and extended its streak of CPC mastery to 43 wins in 44 tries.
Sigmon had a technical fall. Wilson and A. Olmedo won decisions. Wise, I. Olmedo, Shore, Smith and Whitley got forfeits. The only loss on the night was Merritt’s injury default.
“We’re getting better,” coach Buddy Lowery said. “We’re better than we were last week.”
Davie made an impressive showing in the two-day Southern Slam, even with a man short (Merritt was out with an injury). The fifth-place performance was far and away better than last year, when Davie placed 12th out of 30 with no first places.
It was a day to remember for I. Olmedo and Smith. Both went 5-0. In their first four matches, they did what they wanted when they wanted.
Olmedo reached the finals with four straight pins. The cherry on top was a 7-5 championship-match win over the Southern Slam defending champ at 182.
“I was nervous way before (the finals), but at the actual time of the match, it was the least nervous I’ve ever been in a finals match like that,” Olmedo said.
In the finals, Olmedo faced a 1-0 deficit in the second period. He roared to a 4-1 lead, never looked back and improved his season record to 15-0.
“I was really excited, but I tried to keep my composure as best I could,” he said.
Smith was brilliant in his route to the finals. He put together three first-period pins. Then he won 14-4 over a guy who placed second in the 2014 Slam. In the championship, he faced an opponent who placed fifth in last year’s Slam. Smith got an escape halfway through the third and prevailed 1-0.
“He was a very defensive wrestler, so it was difficult to do any offensive moves to him,” Smith said. “My main focus was keeping him from getting anything and trying to get what I needed to get the win.”
Smith ran his junior record to 15-1.
“It kind of proved I can do well at (113),” he said. “I don’t need to focus on my weight. I can focus on getting better and keep on winning big tournaments.
“The excitement wasn’t right when I won. It was like 20 minutes after when I was really happy about it. I was like: ‘Wow, I really won that.’”
I. Olmedo and Smith got plenty of support from their teammates. Thirteen War Eagles combined for 30 wins, including a 6-2, fifth-place effort at 132 from Trader and a 3-3, sixth-place showing at 182 by McCune. Shore (106), Bolmer (145), J. Olmedo (220) and A. Olmedo (285) all went 2-2.
While I. Olmedo and Smith are a combined 30-1, Trader is 15-5, followed by McCune at 13-5, Whitley 12-3, J. Olmedo 11-4, A. Olmedo 11-5 and Shore 10-5.
Davie’s junior varsity wrestlers have had way too much talent for their competition.
In a meet at St. Stephens on Nov. 24, 17 War Eagles went a combined 31-4. Davie got 3-0 performances from Bill Trader, Elijah Gillis, Joseph Myers and Issac Arco. Cody Taylor, Colby Shore, Peyton Sherrill, Logan Williams, Robert Mariche, Andy Flores and Austin Smith went 2-0. Going 1-0 were Mason Hollar and Bryson Hunter.
A meet at West Wilkes on Dec. 5 brought more of the same. Twelve Davie guys combined for 29 wins against seven losses.
Nolan Osborne, Gillis, Neil Spark, Will Allen, Smith and Hunter all went 3-0 to finish first in their respective weight classes. Trader and Strickland went 2-1 to place second. Taylor, Myers and Spencer Hoke went 2-1 to take third.