Davie wins 3 to reach semis

Published 9:52 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

By dispatching three opponents with a combined record of 86-9, Davie’s wrestling team strolled into the 4-A semifinals for the first time in seven years.

The first two rounds saw coach Buddy Lowery’s War Eagles pull out thrilling wins over Northwest Guilford and Ben L. Smith. Two days later, Davie hammered Mooresville to reach the semis for the first time since 2010.

Davie hosted a quad meet Jan. 31. After falling behind in the eighth weight class against Northwest Guilford, the War Eagles delivered a 21-0 run to eliminate the Vikings 36-25. Northwest finished 26-3, with two of the losses to Davie. On Dec. 21, Davie stopped Northwest’s 16-0 run with a 41-24 decision.

Davie captured eight weight classes, only two more than Northwest, but the War Eagles gained separation by claiming four of the match’s five pins.

Things could hardly have gone any better at the beginning. With things kicking off at 126, the War Eagles surged to a 15-0 lead behind Tommy Trader’s 1-0 decision and pins from David Sigmon and Will Allen.

But then things turned sour as the Vikings countered with a 19-0 run from 145 to 182. That gave them a 19-15 lead.

“I knew we were going to bounce back,” sophomore heavyweight Anthony Olmedo said. “I knew we would.”

Indeed, Davie did not panic. At gut-check time, Jesse Carter  (195) triggered a 21-0 run with an 8-6 comeback win in overtime. He faced a 6-2 deficit after the second period, and he was facing a guy (Zach Tyler) who defeated him by two points in December. In the third, Carter pulled within 6-4, then tied it at 6. In overtime, Carter picked up the clinching points in the first 15 seconds.

“I hit a Peterson (to tie score 6-6),” Carter said. “I felt like I needed to win for my team. It changed the momentum. (In overtime) I needed to club his head and make sure he couldn’t see when I shot, and then do that low single and finish.”

Jesus Olmedo followed with a clutch 3-1 overtime win over Jacob Fields at 220. In the second period, he got an escape to tie the score at 1. He got a takedown 43 seconds into OT to put Davie ahead to stay at 21-19. It was Olmedo’s second OT win over Fields this season.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” J. Olmedo said. “This time I controlled more of the match. Last time he was pushing the pace more. I feel like this time I was pushing the pace more and wrestling better.

“(In OT) I was just going to push the pace as much as possible and tire him out. If I could set up a shot, I was going to set up a shot or hit a wrist watch.”

His twin brother, Anthony Olmedo, wasted no time getting a pin at 285. Now Davie had a 27-19 lead.

“Anthony is really consistent when it comes to pinning people,” Jesus said.

“I just knew I was going to have to do my job,” Anthony said.

The momentum kept growing as Josh Shore won a 4-0 decision at 106. Hunter Smith clinched Davie’s 31st win in 32 tries with a 34-second pin at 113. Davie forfeited the final weight class at 120.


Before Davie and Smith squared off later in the night, the buzz around the gym was that the Golden Eagles boasted monsters from 132 to 182. The match would begin at 132, so a substantial Davie deficit was a strong possibility.

The first wave of Golden Eagles were exactly as advertised. Smith roared to a 29-6 lead. But Davie used a torrid comeback to win the round-of-16 showdown 39-35. Smith checked out at 21-3.

Smith’s first five guys featured records of 46-3, 47-1, 41-2, 40-4, and 38-8, and they put Davie in a 25-0 hole.

“I was nervous,” senior Kyle McCune said. “I doubted it a little bit for a second, but once I pinned and Jesse pinned, I knew we were going to win.”

McCune got his pin in 23 seconds, stopping the bleeding momentarily and cutting Davie’s deficit to 25-6.

“It was a little quicker than I anticipated,” McCune said. “I went to my front headlock, like I normally do, and went to my chicken wing.”

Davie’s momentum was short-lived, though, as Downey Richmond’s 15-5 major decision at 182 put Davie in serious trouble at 29-6.

“I was thinking to myself: ‘They have us down right now, but we’re coming back, like we always do,’” junior Nick Gillis said. “At the beginning, we were going through – as my coach says – the meat of their weights. After that, we had them beat.”

Yep, when the War Eagles had to be outstanding, they were. Carter pinned his foe in 21 seconds, igniting a 33-0 run from 195 to 120. J. Olmedo followed with a 68-second pin at 220.

“(Jesus) wrestled good,” A. Olmedo said. “He got me hyped.”

A. Olmedo had a struggle with John Robert-Brown at 285, despite the Smith wrestler’s modest 16-9 record. It was 0-0 after the first period. A. Olmedo fell behind 1-0 in the second, and then the referee waved off A. Olmedo’s takedown attempt as the combatants fell out of bounds. In the third, A. Olmedo finally got on top 2-1, but moments later it was 2-2. The decisive point came when Robert-Brown was nailed for stalling.

“It wasn’t the toughest (match I’ve had), but it was pretty close,” A. Olmedo said. “He was strong – real strong. (On the two-point move to take the lead) I just did something. I just started moving.”

Davie was behind 29-21 when the 106 weight class rolled around. Shore, Smith and Gillis wouldn’t let Davie lose, with Shore pinning in the second, Smith receiving a forfeit and Gillis pinning in the second.

“I had to switch off a bunch because I didn’t know what the guy was going to do,” Shore said. “I tried to do a head lever a few times and that didn’t work. I knew what I had to do and I won for my team.”

After Smith’s coach declined to send anyone out to face Hunter Smith, Gillis jumped ahead 4-0 within seconds and built a 7-0 lead later in the first. It was 9-0 when he got the pin. With the match settled at 39-29, Davie forfeited at 126.

“I just wrestled aggressive. That’s my style,” Gillis said. “Right off the whistle, shoot, do everything I can to pin him as quick as possible and use less energy.”


When Davie and Mooresville met two days later at quarterfinal/semifinal host West Forsyth, the Blue Devils died an early death, 36-33.

At 170, where the match begin, and from 195 through 126, the War Eagles did whatever they wanted, claiming eight of the first nine matches to roll up an insurmountable 36-3 lead.

McCune’s major decision, Carter’s pin, J. Olmedo’s decision, A. Olmedo’s major decision, Shore’s major decision, Smith’s pin, Gillis’ decision and Trader’s pin sealed the quarterfinal match a little over halfway through and ended Mooresville’s season at 39-3.

Davie forfeited out at 132, 138, 145, 152 and 160.

Davie had moved on to face West Forsyth in the semifinals, where the road ended for the War Eagles.