Wrestlers win showdown over Glenn

Published 9:48 am Friday, January 19, 2018

When Davie’s wrestling team hosted upstart Glenn in what will surely be the biggest Central Piedmont Conference showdown of the year, the War Eagles looked like they’d been here before, which they have many, many times.

Davie got off to a sensational start, weathered a storm from 132 through 152, hit the gas at 160 and rolled to a 40-21 win on Jan. 10.

The Bobcats, who were barely above .500 a year ago, are not chopped liver in 2018. They fell to 18-2, the only other loss to Uwharrie Charter Academy on Nov. 22. They are most likely the second-best team in the league.

“All of them had pretty good records,” Davie coach Buddy Lowery said.

But Davie is the CPC’s 900-pound gorilla at the moment, and barring a hard-to-envision stumble, it will capture the conference title for the first time since 2015. Lowery is approaching 900 wins and his 26th regular-season championship in his 42nd year at the helm (he stands at 877-129-2). For the season, Davie is 32-3 overall and 3-0 in the CPC.

The raging Anthony Olmedo sparked the fast start by bumping up to heavyweight and winning 5-2 to push his record to 40-2.

“I thought they were going to try to dodge Anthony (at 220),” Lowery said. “I hated to drop Andy (Flores) out, but I was looking for a nine-point swing right there. I don’t know if that guy would have beat Andy, but hindsight is 20-20.”

A mighty wave included Cody Taylor’s 3-1 decision at 106, Josh Shore’s 19-6 major decision at 113, Nick Gillis’ pin at 120 and Bill Trader’s pin at 126. With five weight classes in the books, it was 22-0.

The War Eagles lost the next four matches, but two of them were at places where inexperienced guys were filling in for injured starters – freshman Matthew Downey replacing Colby Shore (knee) at 132 and sophomore Tyris Griffin taking Joseph Myers’ spot at 152.

Glenn’s comeback shaved Davie’s lead to 22-18 with five weights to go. Four of the final five went Davie’s way. Hayes Sales was Mr. Clutch, pinning in the first period at 160 to stop the bleeding. Hunter Strickland won a decision, 4-0, at 170. Matthew King shut the door, his 5-3 decision putting the margin out of reach at 34-18. After Davie lost at 195, Glenn forfeited to Bryson Hunter at 220.

Even though Davie is having another shining season, Lowery’s glass is often half full of darkness. He’s short on compliments and long on we-need-to-improve commitments. He loves to see his boys come in, do their job and depart – quietly.

“Cody wrestled his butt off. He just needs to be a little more aggressive and tie some things up and don’t make it look obvious,” Lowery said. “Josh should have pinned the guy. When you take him down, put your half in there and get a five-point move instead of a two-point move. Then it doesn’t take as long. Nick could make it a lot easier on himself if he will keep it simple, stupid.”