Wrestlers blast West

Published 10:10 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

Last year Davie’s wrestling team drilled West Forsyth 54-9 and a month later the War Eagles were in total control against West in the state quarterfinals. Out of the nowhere the Titans rallied for a 32-30 win.

It was one of those losses where you wake up in the middle of the night screaming, “How did that happen?”

Davie and visiting West were on opposite sides of the mat on Jan. 3 in the first meeting since that nasty 32-30 loss. No way these ascendant War Eagles were losing to this rebuilding version of West. That 32-30 heartbreaker is yesterday’s news. Today’s headline: These War Eagles are peaking at the right time. These guys can contend for a West Regional title.

Davie blasted West 52-13. The Titans might be the second-best team in the Central Piedmont Conference. It’s hard to imagine any CPC foe giving Davie a match, much less beating it.

“It’s that time of year; you better get ready,” coach Buddy Lowery said.

“We made adjustments to the lineup and got the matchups we wanted,” assistant coach Timmy Allen said. Davie bumped up five guys. “I thought we were more aggressive. We went out there and got after them. We had a bitter taste in our mouths. We’ve got to keep that mindset the rest of the year.”

Davie is 23-2 overall, 2-0 in the CPC, ranked second in the 4-A state and owns a 14-match winning streak. West, which won the state dual championship in 2016 and 2017 and finished second last year, is having a trying season at 5-6, 1-1.

But the scores against one common opponent suggested this one could get interesting. The Titans lost 36-33 to West Wilkes; Davie had to fight like crazy to edge W. Wilkes 37-34.

But Davie looked awesome, capturing 11 of 13 matches (not counting a Davie forfeit at 195).

Sophomore Adam Szewczyk (120 weight class) and senior Bill Trader (126) got things rolling with 6-2 and 16-1 decisions, respectively.

“Adam will tilt you, tilt you, tilt you,” Lowery said. “He did a good job.”

Even Davie’s two losses produced positives. Sophomore Tyler Snyder (132) stayed off his back in a 14-0 major decision loss to West’s Ethan Wright, who was sixth in the state last year at 126. And Snyder made Wright work for six minutes even though he entered with a 2-0 season record.

“Tyler did his job,” Allen said. “He didn’t give up a tech fall. Tyler is really a 126-pounder and (Wright) is tough.”

Snyder, senior Josh Chaffin, freshman Collin Bailey, sophomore Matthew Downey and freshman Isaac Webb all bumped up. Chaffin got a second-period pin in his first appearance at 138.

“We figured Chaffin would pin,” Allen said.

The most exciting match was Bailey against Kyle Perkins. Bailey grabbed a 2-0 lead in his first appearance at 145. A Perkins reversal in the third tied it at 2. Bailey survived 3-2 in double overtime, bringing the crowd to its feet and pushing Davie’s lead to 17-4.

“Collin just dug deep and pulled it out,” Allen said. “It was all heart.”

Another impressive win came from sophomore Matthew Downey. He came in 4-1 with all five matches at 138. All he did was bump up two weight classes and dominate 12-0.

“I thought Matthew did an excellent job of stepping in there above where he normally wrestles,” Allen said. “Once he won, I knew it was pretty much in the bag. We were expecting him to win, but he went to work on that kid.”

Webb’s effort in a 10-4 loss drew a standing ovation and earned a hand slap from Lowery when it was over. He was facing Andres Perez, who last year finished fourth in the state at 145, and he fell behind 10-0 before he completely flipped the momentum. He flirted with a pin on two occasions, then ran out of time.

“I’m going to tell you who wrestled their butt off,” Lowery said. “That was Webb. Joseph Myers and (Perez) always tried to kill each other last year.”

“We bumped Isaac up and he had a shot to pin that kid,” Allen said. “I really think if Isaac would have had more time he pins. He fought off his back for a good minute. That was impressive. If (Perez) doesn’t catch Isaac in that crazy scramble, it’s a one-point match. I think that will be a confidence boost, that hey, I can compete on a state level.”

It was 21-7 going into 170. Sparked by junior Tyris Griffin’s 4-2 decision, Davie went on another tear.

“Tyris wrestled really well,” Allen said. “He was pushing the pace. We took 10 shots to his one through the first two periods. We were definitely more aggressive.”

Everyone knew when it got to 182, it was going to be one mismatch after another. Senior Matthew King (182) is 29-5. Senior Jesus Olmedo is 33-0 and ranked second in the state. Senior Andy Flores (heavyweight) is 20-3 and ranked fifth in the state. (The other heavyweight, injured Anthony Olmedo, is ranked first.) Senior Cody Taylor (106) is 30-2. And freshman JT Richards (113) is 31-3 and ranked second in the state.

Sure enough, King pinned in the first; Olmedo clinched victory with a 14-3 major decision; Flores pinned in the second; Taylor pinned in the second; and Richards pinned in the first.