Wrestler Smith triumphs in Thacker

Published 2:33 pm Thursday, December 31, 2015

Davie’s wrestling team experienced flashbacks in the Tab Thacker Memorial at West Forsyth. Six days after the Titans punished Davie on its home mat, the War Eagles watched a West tidal wave in the 11-team Thacker tournament on Dec. 23.

The Titans, who are 26-0 in dual matches and ranked No. 1 in the 4-A state, followed up a triumph in the 40-team WRAL in Raleigh with 206.5 points in the Thacker. Piedmont, a 3-A team with an 8-3 dual record, was second at 146. Davie was third at 140, followed by Glenn (117), North Buncombe (91), Elkin (89), Wheatmore (69), R-S Central (65.5), East Rowan (41), Monroe (41) and T.C. Roberson (35).

A year ago in the same tournament, Davie finished first out of 18 teams, edging West by one point. But West looks unstoppable this winter.

“Piedmont is a pretty good team,” coach Buddy Lowery said. “You know West is.”

Hunter Smith was Davie’s lone champion, going 3-0 at 113. Smith also had the only win in head-to-head matchups with West, winning by injury default in the semifinals. Davie dropped six matchups with West.

“We didn’t wrestle bad,” Lowery said. “We didn’t have (a 160-pounder) and we lost a couple close ones. For the most part, I think we wrestled about like we were supposed to.”

While Smith sandwiched a pin and a major decision around the injury default, Davie got runner-up performances from Isaiah Olmedo at 182, Jesse Carter at 195 and Anthony Olmedo at 285. Carter reached the finals with back-to-back pins.

I. Olmedo won by pin and by decision to reach the finals with a 33-0 record. The best start in 14 years was stopped by Glenn’s Jonathan Pazcual, who denied Olmedo 5-3. The last War Eagle to go this deep with a perfect record was Patrick Lowery, who went 38-0 and won the state at 215 in 2001-02.

“I thought Isaiah was better than (Pazcual),” Lowery said. “He just messed around. He just wasn’t himself. I guess you have those days every now and then. He’s going to get opportunities (to avenge the loss) since Glenn is in our regional.”

A. Olmedo advanced to the finals with a pair of decisions. The 7-3 loss to West’s Elvis Banks was actually a nice step forward for Olmedo, who was pinned in 22 seconds when they met at Davie on Dec. 17.

“Anthony got put on his back in the first (period),” Lowery said. “He’s getting better. He’s just got to get to the point where he doesn’t worry if somebody gets a takedown on him.”

Josh Shore (106) and Isaiah Whitley (120) went 3-1 to take third place. Thad Vandiver went 2-2 to finish fourth at 138. Will Allen went 2-2 at 132. Davie got one win from Tommy Trader (126), Joseph Myers (145), Crayton Wise (152), Kyle McCune (170) and Spencer Wilson (220). The regular 220-pounder, Jesus Olmedo, continued to nurse a shoulder injury.

The top records for the season: I. Olmedo 33-1, Smith 33-2, Whitley 29-6, A. Olmedo 26-9, Trader 26-11, Shore 25-10, McCune 25-12, Wise 22-10, J. Olmedo 18-5, Carter 18-7, Allen 18-8 and Vandiver 17-9.

By rule, you can not wrestle more than 55 matches through the conference tournament, and the Central Piedmont Conference Tournament is still a month away (Jan. 30).

“Shoot, we’re going to have to start sitting some people in some tournaments so they don’t go over 55,” Lowery said.

Junior Varsity

Despite having just eight wrestlers, Davie’s junior varsity made a strong showing in a tournament at Reynolds on Dec. 21, finishing third out of 12-plus teams.

First-place West Forsyth fielded 25-plus wrestlers, coach Timmy Allen said. Second-place Rock Hill (S.C.) had 19 wrestlers. Allen said Davie was shorthanded because of injuries and sickness.

Hunter Strickland (145), Austin Smith (160) and Bryson Hunter (170) finished first in their weight classes with 3-0 runs. David Sigmon went 2-1 for second at 126. Colby Shore and Peyton Sherrill went 3-1 to place third at 126 and 132, respectively. Hayes Sales went 2-1 for third at 145. Mason Hollar contributed a win as Davie’s eight guys combined for 20 wins against six losses.