Wrestling 10th in star-studded tourney

Published 9:50 am Thursday, December 7, 2017

Davie wrestling coach Buddy Lowery likes for his guys to get a reality check. He wants bumps in the road to prepare them for the February stretch run.

If you want to find trouble, the Southern Slam Invitational is the place to be. Davie made the 150-mile trip to Eastside High in Taylors, S.C., a blood-and-guts tournament that took place Dec. 1-2. There were 21 schools from South Carolina, six from Georgia, one from Tennessee and two from North Carolina (Davie and rival West Forsyth).

Buford (Ga.) won first place with 184 points. If the team standings mean anything, Davie and West will be a tossup on Jan. 3 in Clemmons. West was ninth out of 30 teams at 106.5; Davie was 10th at 101.

“I bet you there might have been three people in the finals that were not a state champ,” Lowery said. “It was unreal.”

Three of 14 War Eagles placed in the top seven, led by junior Anthony Olmedo. He went 3-1 to finish second at 220. After receiving a first-round bye, he sandwiched two decisions around a pin to reach the finals. In the championship match, he was major decisioned by a guy who appeared as unstoppable as tomorrow. Olmedo is 9-2 on the year.

“Anthony wrestled good until the finals,” Lowery said. “He had a man in the finals. I shook that sucker’s hand. His hand was about twice as big as my hand. He wasn’t trying to squeeze it, but you could feel the strength. I said: ‘Anthony, I’m sorry I got onto you. You just faced a manchild.’”

Junior Cody Taylor finished fifth at 106 after dropping his first match. What were the odds of him picking up six wins after the first-round loss? He racked up five pins and a decision before finishing the tournament 6-2. He’s 12-2 on the year.

“He went in as a 16 or lower seed, but he wrestled well,” Lowery said.

Senior Nick Gillis went 4-2 to take seventh at 120. His wins were two pins and two major decisions, and he left the event with a 10-2 season record.

“Nick got a hold of a couple of studs,” Lowery said. “He didn’t wrestle bad.”

Junior Matthew King went 3-2 at 182 as the only other War Eagle to post a winning record. Seniors Josh Shore (113) and Bryson Hunter (195) and juniors Josh Chaffin (138), Hayes Sales (160) and Andy Flores (285) all went 2-2, which is a solid showing against this type of field.

Junior Colby Shore (132) and senior Hunter Strickland (170), who suffered a fluke loss when he lost his balance while holding a commanding lead, both went 1-2.

Three War Eagles went 0-2. One of them, Bill Trader (126),  could blame a shoulder injury for his empty day. The good news is the injury doesn’t appear serious.

“Some wrestled good and some didn’t,” Lowery said. “Chaffin gets down on himself, but he’s a good wrestler.”


Earlier in the week, the War Eagles stomped Trinity (72-12) and Grimsley (75-4) in a tri-meet at Davie on Nov. 29.

Against Trinity, Davie got pins from Gillis, Trader, Peyton Sherrill, Joseph Myers, Strickland, King and Hunter. Trinity gave Davie five forfeits.

Against Grimsley, unbeaten Davie (7-0) topped 70 points for the fifth time this season. Gillis, Trader, Chaffin, Sherrill and Myers had the pins. Sales won a decision. Seven guys received forfeits.