South wrestling off to good start
Published 9:27 am Thursday, December 14, 2017
South Davie’s wrestling team was everything coach Russell Hilton hoped it would be in the biggest match of the season so far – against visiting Ellis on Dec. 6.
South overcame an 18-0 deficit to win 60-42 over the Jaguars.
One day earlier, Ellis tuned up for the county showdown with an 84-12 rout at Lexington. Jacob Perry, Chase Hilton, Ethan Deas, Bryson Parker, Danny Olmedo, Keller Frakes, Charlie Frye, Isaac Webb and Mark Dixon had pins. Lexington gave forfeits to Kevin Morgan, Gabe Rhyne, Will Burris, Chandler Allen and Noah Myers.
In the Tigers’ comeback over Ellis, they secured their best start (5-0) in 10 years. The 2007-08 team started 5-0 when it was led by Alex Costner (17-0 record), Mick Spillman (13-1) and Stephon Smoot (16-2).
Ellis bolted to the 18-0 lead behind pins from Lawson Hire (83 weight class), Perry (90) and Hilton (98). Coach Hilton, though, didn’t panic.
“My first three weight classes are all sixth graders, so we’re real young starting out,” he said. “I knew we’d probably be behind (early), but we’re really good through the middle and upper weights. So I knew we’d come back.”
When South’s Ramiro Gutierrez, Ellis’ Parker, South’s Chance Jones and Ellis’ Ethan Lunsford exchanged pins from 106 to 126, Ellis held a 30-12 lead.
South flexed its muscles from 132 to 220, claiming eight of nine matches to build a 60-36 lead. Ellis’ only winner during the stretch was Webb, who pinned at 152. Meanwhile, South got pins from CJ Dickerson (132), Brian Reyes (138), Jack Jarvis (145), Daniel Garcia (160) and Arianna Conner (170) and forfeits at 182 (Devonte Lyerly) and 220 (AJ Ronquillo).
Dickerson came out of nowhere at 132, pinning in his season debut. He started the winter season on the hardwood, then decided to change sports.
“We just added him last week,” Hilton said. “He wrestled for us last year and then he switched over to basketball. He had only practiced for three days. We plugged him in a hole because we were missing Seth Johnson (who is 3-0 with three pins). CJ definitely helped filling in.
“Jarvis weighed in at 138 (and bumped up to 145); he was cutting for a tournament. He usually weighs in at 145, so I can bump him up to 152 if I need to.
“Jones wrestled really well. He pinned but there were several times that (Burris) put him on his back. It was back and forth.
“Garcia had a big win. I knew if we won at 160, we had two forfeits later on, so that pretty much guaranteed it at that point.”
When the Tigers closed last season with a 51-37 win over Ellis, they halted a 13-match losing streak in the series. Now they have consecutive wins over Ellis. Although the Jags dropped to 2-2, neither loss was bad by any stretch of the imagination. West Rowan beat Ellis 66-34, and West beat North Davie 60-36.
At heavyweight, Ellis’ Dixon pinned to close the final margin to 18.
“We wrestled really well, much better than we did against Thomasville,” Hilton said. “We��re learning from our mistakes. You can definitely see improvement from last week to this week.”
Seven Tigers who have competed in three or more matches remain undefeated. The list includes Reyes, who is 5-0 with five pins. Lyerly and Jarvis are 5-0 with four pins. Davis is also 5-0. Garcia is 4-0 and Jones 3-0.
There are four unbeatens for Ellis. Perry, Parker and Webb are 4-0. Parker and Webb have four pins each. Lunsford is 3-0 with three pins.
North Davie found its mojo on Nov. 17 at Forbush and it hasn’t looked back. The Wildcats (5-2) drilled Thomasville 66-29 on Dec. 5 for their fifth straight win.
Coach Jamey Holt got pins from Lane Hill, Blake Jenkins, Collin Bailey, Jadon Davis, Alex Mackey and Brandon Logan. Thomasville handed forfeits to Tyler Shore, JT Richards, Logan Yokley, Hunter Testa and Sam Collins.
Jenkins (7-0) and Richards (5-0) are the unbeatens for North. Hill (6-1), Yokley (6-1), Bailey (6-1), Collins (6-1) and Logan (6-1) have just one loss.
“Richards is smooth and sound with technique,” Holt said. “He’s got a chance to be a good one.
“Jenkins is gritty. He loves to go out and try to pin as quick as he can. I hope he stays with it because he could help Davie as well.”
Thomasville is a common opponent for two Davie teams. While North beat Thomasville by 37, South won by 18 (60-42).