8 wrestlers earn state berths

Published 10:38 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Davie wrestling team’s showing in the Midwest 4-A Regional, which Davie hosted for the first time ever, was compelling as the War Eagles finished second out of 19 teams and qualified eight for the state tournament.

It was also frustrating as three War Eagles came up one win shy of cracking the top four and thus earning a berth to the state meet.

It was also bittersweet as Davie fell three points short of winning the regional title for the second year in a row.

Davie hosted the event Feb. 8-9. Northwest Guilford, which ended Davie’s dual team season in the quarterfinals by a whisker and then went on to capture the state championship with a narrow victory over Laney, finished with 168.5 points to Davie’s 166.5. Ragsdale had 120, Pinecrest 119.5, Porter Ridge 110.5, West Forsyth 103.5, Page 102, Glenn 100.5, East Forsyth 60, Scotland County 52.5, Hickory Ridge 44, Richmond County 41.5, Independence 40, Rocky River 34.5, High Point Central 30.5, Reynolds 22, Grimsley 19, Reagan 19 and Butler 11.

Last year at Glenn, Davie outscored Ragsdale 166-162.5 to give coach Buddy Lowery his 17th regional title. This year Lowery settled for his eighth regional runner-up.

“It went down to the last match,” Lowery said. “If we’d won, we would have won it.”


Seniors Jesus Olmedo, Bill Trader, Matthew King, Andy Flores and Josh Chaffin and freshmen Isaac Webb, JT Richards and Jack Jarvis finished among the top four in their respective weight classes to advance.

Once again the Davie star was Olmedo, who captured the gold medal at 220 to qualify for the state for the second time. He finished fourth as a sophomore, missed all of last year with a shoulder injury (twin brother Anthony has missed virtually all of this season with a shoulder injury) and he earned most outstanding wrestler for the upper weights by pinning in the first period, pinning in the second and major decisioning his opponent in the finals.

A War Eagle reached 50 wins in a season for the 22nd time, and at 50-1, Olmedo became the 14th guy to achieve the milestone. Three of the 14 have come from the same family. Older brother Isaiah Olmedo went 59-4 in 2016 and Anthony went 53-4 last year. Jesus’ only loss was to Lake Norman’s massively gifted Nathan Dugan, who bumped up to 220 to face Olmedo on Jan. 30 but will be at 195 this week at the state tournament.

“It was obvious that Jesus was the best one in the upper weights,” Lowery said. “He’s been through the wars. He’s trying to win (the state).”

At 126, Trader pinned in the quarterfinals and won a decision in the semifinals to punch a state ticket for the second time. In the finals, he lost a decision to High Point Central senior Issac Toe (44-3). Trader’s record is 40-9.

“It wasn’t anything fancy, but Bill had a good weekend,” Lowery said.

At 152, Webb reeled off three straight decisions to reach the finals. He took second after a decision loss to East Forsyth freshman Michael Quinones (36-3). Webb’s 3-1 effort lifted his record to 36-14.

“Isaac wrestled his butt off,” Lowery said. “On Friday he beat a guy from West Forsyth who finished fourth in the state last year. I thought he had him pinned.”

At 182, King’s appearance in the finals came as no surprise. When he won by technical fall and injury default, he owned a 33-match winning streak. In the finals, he lost by tech fall to the big, bad Chris Garrison, a senior at NW Guilford. King is headed to the state for the second time with a 46-6 record.

At 285, Flores pinned in the second and won by decision. He wound up second after a 3-1 overtime loss to East Forsyth. Flores, who is 33-5 for the season, has won 24 of 26 – and both losses were in OT.

At 113, Richards went 4-1 to claim third. After getting a pin and a decision, he lost by major decision to West Forsyth junior Mike Dalton, who is 7-0 after missing almost the entire season. Richards responded with a pin and a decision to nail down third.

Richards is 49-6 as a freshman (that’s not a misprint). With one win at the Greensboro Coliseum, he’ll become the first Davie freshman ever to achieve 50 wins in a season. Michael Waters, a two-time state champion in 2010-11, had 46 freshman wins.

“JT might not even see Dalton anymore,” Lowery said. “I said: ‘Keep your head up.’ He can beat 95 percent of them. Maybe those five percent will be on the other side of the bracket or get beat out before he sees them.”

At 132, Chaffin went 3-2 to earn fourth. He notched two pins before losing 5-4 to West Forsyth senior Ethan Wright (47-9) in the third/fourth match. Chaffin is 38-11.

“Josh should have been in the finals,” Lowery said. “He had a great weekend. He beat a kid from Northwest Guilford on Friday night; that was big. He did what he had to do to get himself to (this) week.”

At 145, Jarvis compiled a 4-2 mark to achieve fourth. He had two pins along the way and improved to 28-14 in an injury-shortened season.

“Jack wrestled good,” Lowery said. “Maybe he’ll get healthier this week.”


While eight War Eagles celebrated and exhaled, five guys had to call it a season. Three of them could smell state berths.

“We should have had at least two more get it,” Lowery said.

At 106, Cody Taylor’s bright senior year crashed at 1-2. He pinned in the quarterfinals but lost 12-10 to Pinecrest freshman phenom Matthew Rowland (46-5) in the semifinals. Rowland was the eventual champion. In the consolation semifinals, Taylor was shaved 5-3 in overtime by Ragsdale junior Dustin Cook (46-12). Thus, Taylor’s tremendous season ended at 43-6.

“(In the consolation semifinals) Cody was winning with about 10 seconds left and (Cook) got a reversal,” Lowery said. “It was frustrating for him. He took a head shot to the face. I thought it knocked his teeth out. Luckily, it didn’t. When he stood up, he was staggered.

“He had a good year. I was pulling for him to get to the state.”

That wasn’t the only heartbreaker. At 138, freshman Collin Bailey went 3-2 with three pins – but he fell short 12-11 in the consolation semifinals to Page senior Antonio Herbin. Bailey closed his terrific season at 37-14.

“Collin wrestled his butt off,” Lowery said. “He had a good tournament and a good year. He just came up one win short.”

At 120, sophomore Adam Szewczyk gave a valiant effort during a 3-2 run. After falling in the quarterfinals, he put together back-to-back pins to reach the consolation semifinals, where he lost by decision. His fine season ended at 32-13. If he’s 33-12, he’s rolling on Thursday.

“Adam did a good job for us,” Lowery said.

Senior Peyton Sherrill (160) and junior Tyris Griffin (170) both went 1-2. Lowery sympathized for Sherrill. Not only was this his season year, he bumped up to help the team. What’s more, most of his season was ruined by injury.

“He moved up two weight classes,” Lowery said. “He needed to be stronger, but he didn’t have the opportunity to get stronger because he got hurt early and stayed hurt for a month or month and a half. He’ll probably get his shoulder operated on next week. With that torn labrum, he had a bad-luck season. He’s a great kid.”