Wrestlers sending seven to state tourney

Published 9:42 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

In the Midwest Regional, the Davie wrestling team exceeded its performance level over recent years and produced seven state qualifiers.

After finishing fourth, fourth, fourth and sixth in the regional between 2013-16, the War Eagles placed third out of 25 teams. It was the best showing in five years, dating to a runner-up finish in 2012.

After qualifying four, three, four and three wrestlers for the state tournament between 2013-16, Davie put seven in the top four, thus qualifying them for the state meet. It was the most since the 2012 team sent seven to the state.

Davie tallied 152.5 points. There was no shame in finishing behind West Forsyth (174 points with eight state qualifiers) and Southeast Guilford (163.5). West was coming off a march to the dual-team state championship. Southeast, like Davie, gave West a run for its money during the playoffs. Ben L. Smith finished fourth at 141. The regional was held at Southwest Guilford Feb. 10-11.

Senior Will Allen (138 weight class) and sophomore Anthony Olmedo (285) led the War Eagles with second-place finishes. Allen won by pin, major decision and decision before losing by technical fall in the finals. His 3-1 effort pushed his season record to 46-12.

A. Olmedo reached the finals with a pin and two decisions. He ran into a buzzsaw in the finals, getting pinned in 35 seconds by undefeated senior Evan Surgeon of Southeast Guilford, who improved to 43-0. A. Olmedo, who gave up about 40 pounds to Surgeon,went 3-1 over two days to improve his record to 43-4.

“(Surgeon) is a big ol’ sucker,” coach Buddy Lowery said. “He slapped a cradle on him and it was lights out. Anthony is small (for a heavyweight). Anthony is 235. Surgeon is probably 275-plus. Surgeon is the one who beat Parker (Correll) two years ago when he finished second (in the state) at 220. Last year he finished second (in the state) at heavyweight.”

Davie received third-place efforts from junior Hunter Strickland (152), senior Kyle McCune (170) and senior Jesse Carter (195). All three went 4-1. For the season, Strickland is 27-8, McCune 47-11 and Carter 51-6.

Carter, who has 107 career wins, became the 18th War Eagle in history to reach 50 wins in a season.

Senior Hunter Smith (113) and sophomore Jesus Olmedo (220) rounded out Davie’s state qualifiers with fourth-place finishes. Smith captured three of four matches, including two by pin, before bowing out with an injury in the consolation finals. His 3-2 run lifted his season record to 48-5.

“He got his back jammed up,” Lowery said. “We ran out of injury time and he was getting beat, so we just injury defaulted.”

J. Olmedo followed a first-round bye with a pin. Then his 11-match winning streak ended with a razor-thin 3-2 loss on criteria. After winning a decision to reach the consolation finals, he lost by decision. He will carry a 40-3 record to the Greensboro Coliseum for the state meet.

While five War Eagles will compete in the state for the first time, McCune and Smith will make their second appearances on the big stage. Last year McCune placed third in the regional at 170. Last year Smith was regional runner-up at 113.

“If one or two more (qualified for the state), we would have been right there in the running,” Lowery said. “I’d like to have done better.”

Four War Eagles were one win from advancing, with junior Josh Shore (106), junior Nick Gillis (120), senior Tommy Trader (126) and junior Bryson Hunter (182) exiting in the consolation semifinals.

Shore went 3-2 to finish with a 38-18 record. Gillis went 3-2 to finish with a 45-13 record. Trader went 3-2 to finish with a 44-13 record. Trader went 97-42 in his career, with 87 wins coming during his junior/senior years.

Lowery feels like Hunter, who went 2-2 for a season record of 16-8, got hosed in the consolation semifinals. He lost 4-2 to Southeast Guilford junior Ruther Oxce, but the verdict was controversial. Lowery disputed the score, to no avail.

“He shouldn’t have gotten beat. It was a bad situation,” Lowery said. “The score was 3-3. Then I looked over there and the score was 4-2 (in favor of Oxce). I was saying: ‘There ain’t no way.’ So I went to the table. The points on the board and the points on the sheet did not match up. It wasn’t right. They should have ended up 3-3, and they should have gone to overtime.”

It was as disheartening a way to lose out in the regional as any Lowery has seen over the years.

“It was a mess,” he continued. “That hadn’t ever happened to me in 41 years. I guess you’d have to be a total jerk to win something like that. I hate it for (Hunter). I wish that match would have been done the right way. The score sheet said 4-2, but it wasn’t 4-2. I hate for one to miss out going to the state because of (a scoring error).”

Senior David Sigmon (132) and junior Crayton Wise (160) both went 2-2. Sigmon went 38-11 this season and 65-20 for his career. Wise finished the year 36-16.

Notes: Davie carried 13 wrestlers to SW Guilford instead of 14, with a void at 145. … The last time Davie sent seven to the state was 2012, when Alex Gobble (second in the regional at 170), Trevor Albarron (third at 113), Lake Billings (third at 106), Trevon Faulkner (fourth at 160), Jack Robertson (fourth at 182), Ryan Smith (fourth at 126) and Gerald Whitaker (fourth at 138) qualified.