Wrestling starts 5-0

Published 9:22 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

While Davie’s wrestling team was dominant in the opening meet of the season, don’t get the idea that coach Buddy Lowery was satisfied following a 5-0 showing at St. Stephens on Nov. 21. (The 42nd-year coach is rarely satisfied.)

A 5-0 start would be a big deal for a lot of programs, but not for Davie, which started 5-0 for the 11th straight year.

“When you get satisfied, you get beat,” Lowery said. “We practiced (the next morning after getting home from Hickory past midnight) for two hours on things we screwed up. It was a good start for us.”

In the first three matches, the War Eagles ate Hickory (78-6), South Rowan (72-6) and Patton (72-6) for dinner. Late in the night, they rallied past St. Stephens (40-31) and North Iredell (46-24).

Senior Hunter Strickland (5-0 with three pins at 170), junior Cody Taylor (4-0 at 106), senior Josh Shore (4-0 with four pins at 113), senior Nick Gillis (4-0 with three pins at 120), junior Bill Trader (4-0 at 132), junior Colby Shore (3-0 with three pins at 132), junior Anthony Olmedo (4-1 with four pins at 220), junior Andy Flores (4-1 with three pins at heavyweight) and senior Bryson Hunter (3-1 with three pins at 195) rained havoc on the competition.

The darnedest part of Davie’s two come-from-behind wins: It took on St. Stephens and North Iredell at the same time. It was already going to be late when Davie returned home. To keep it from being much later, they decided to double up.

The big bout was Davie-St. Stephens. Pins by Trader and C. Shore staked Davie to a 12-0 lead, but when the 195-pound match ended, it was in a 31-15 hole. Strickland’s decision at 170 was Davie’s only win between 138 and 195.

But Davie went on a blistering 25-0 run over the final five weight classes, getting pins from Olmedo, Flores and J. Shore, a major decision from Taylor and a decision from Gillis.

“St. Stephens has some gaps in there, but for the most part they’re pretty solid,” Lowery said.

Against N. Iredell, freshman Matthew Downey got things started with a major decision. “He’s pretty good,” Lowery said. “He’s a pretty tough kid.”

Josh Chaffin’s pin gave Davie a 10-0 lead. Chaffin, a junior, had two pins during a 2-2 day. “He had two daggone studs (in the losses),” Lowery said.

Strickland (170) and Hunter (195) had pins to provide a 22-18 lead. But North turned the momentum its way with decisions over Olmedo at 220 and Flores at 285. That meant a 24-22 deficit for Davie.

“Olmedo just doesn’t know how to wrestle like a 220-pounder yet,” Lowery said of the junior who mashed people at heavyweight the past two seasons. “He was pushing and pushing and pushing. That guy got a five-point move and it was hard to come back from that. He’ll be alright.”

Just like the St. Stephens match, Davie had the answer down the stretch. Pins by Taylor, J. Shore and Gillis stirred a 24-0 run to close the match.

Senior Joseph Myers went 3-1 at 152, although he got very little mat time because of three forfeits. Junior Peyton Sherrill went 3-2 at 145. Junior Neil Spark went 2-0 at 126. Juniors Hayes Sales (160), Matthew King (182) and Chaffin (138) had 2-2 showings. Freshmen Adam Szewczyk (106), Nathan Whitley (113), Tyler Snyder (120), Ivan Poag (160) and Downey (132) and junior Spencer Hoke (195) all went 1-0.

“We took 23 (wrestlers) and every one of them got at least one match,” Lowery said. “Hey, they’re in (the practice room), too. It’s hard to keep them satisfied when you take that many boys.

“Snyder is pretty good. He’s got a little bit of a mean streak in him. He’ll do something to you and then laugh at you.”

Notes: Lowery has an outrageous career record of 850-129. … The JV War Eagles finished second out of eight teams at Ragsdale on Nov. 25. It was a strong showing considering first-place Ragsdale had 12 wrestlers compared to eight for Davie. Finishing first for Davie were Szewczyk (106), Snyder (120), Downey (132), Poag (160) and Hoke (195). Avery Taylor was second at 195. Whitley (113) and Tyris Griffin (152) were third.