Olmedo, Flores, King place in state

Published 10:28 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

Senior wrestler Jesus Olmedo fell just short of the state championship at 220, settling for runner-up, but it’s quite remarkable what the Olmedo family has meant to Davie wrestling.

Isaiah Olmedo, the oldest of five siblings, went 121-35 from 2012-16 and set the single-season record for wins at 59.

Then came the twins. Senior Anthony, who missed virtually all of this season with an injury, went 143-32 for the No. 10 spot in all-time wins. He was fourth in the state at 285 as a sophomore. As a junior, he won the regional and placed fifth in the state at 220. His senior season was ruined by a shoulder injury, going 4-3 with two forfeit losses because of the injury.

Jesus finished with a career record of 129-19, good for 20th place on the wins list. As a sophomore, he was fourth in the state at 220. This year he was looking to become Davie’s first state champion since the Michael Waters/Matt Cusack duo in 2011. He wound up as the first runner-up since Alex Gobble in 2014.

The state meet was held at the Greensboro Coliseum on Feb. 14-16.

J. Olmedo demolished three opponents, pinning in the first period, pinning in the second and taking a 10-2 major decision. Davie coaches knew he would face an uphill battle in the finals against Cardinal Gibbons senior Jalen Brooks, the defending state champ with an undefeated record.

Brooks completed a 46-0 ride by taking a 6-2 decision over Olmedo.

“We thought we had a chance,” coach Buddy Lowery said. “Jesus wrestled his heart out. We gave up a takedown late in the first period. If you take that away … (Brooks) might have been a little stronger than we were, but Jesus wrestled his heart out.”

Olmedo finished 53-2 with 35 pins. He became the 11th War Eagle to achieve 53 season wins, joining I. Olmedo (59-4 in 2016), Zack Vernon (56-5 in 2009), Timmy Allen (55-1 in 2005), Waters (55-5 in 2011), Aaron Hollifield (55-4 in 2006), Cusack (55-6 in 2009), Hunter Smith (54-8 in 2016), A. Olmedo (53-4 in 2018), Parker Correll (53-4 in 2015) and Russell Hilton (53-6 in 2006).

Isaiah, Anthony and Jesus combined for a 393-86 record over the past seven years, winning 82 percent of the time. And get this: The Olmedo era is not over; Danny is an eighth grader at Ellis and Ryan is the youngest brother.

“It was pretty emotional,” Lowery said. “It has been a good family for us. We’ve got another one coming next year.”

“Jesus is a fun kid,” assistant coach Allen said. “He’s always willing to work and put in the time. He’s ambitious and has goals for himself.”

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Senior Andy Flores made a run at heavyweight, reaching the semifinals with 5-3 and 6-3 decisions. In the semifinals, he lost by a hair, 2-1, to senior Tray Regan of Lumberton.

Everyone sympathized for Flores because he was nailed a point for unnecessary roughness and he lost by a point. That’s a brutal way for a state-championship dream to die. Regan (57-5) went on to finish second with a 4-3 loss in the finals.

“It was questionable,” Lowery said. “Both of them were in the wrong, but we got stuck (a point).”

“It was a questionable call,” Allen said. “It was called on us, saying we initiated it, but Andy got punched in the face (with the score tied in the second period). Andy was pushing him to the line, (Regan) got mad and clubbed at Andy’s face.”

It’s not easy coming back from a controversial loss like that. The consolations were a hangover spot for Flores, but he responded with two wins to claim third. After squeaking out a 1-0 decision, he won by injury default in the consolation finals when his East Forsyth opponent had to drop out with an injury at the 4:39 mark.

Flores’ 4-1 showing pushed his season record to 37-6. After going 30-14 as a junior, he earned his first state berth and became Davie’s first third-place finisher since I. Olmedo in 2016. That’s no small feat, especially when you consider Flores had a formidable opponent in the practice room before A. Olmedo’s season-ending injury.

“Andy has come so far,” Allen said. “He was having to battle with Anthony all the time. I mean we had two of the best heavyweights in the state on the same team. When does this ever happen? I’m just glad Andy stuck with it through everything and achieved at a high level.”

•••

Senior Matthew King also reached the semifinals at 182 after winning by injury default and pin. In the semifinals, he suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to senior Shylik Scriven of Athens Drive.

“It was a good match,” Lowery said. “We just couldn’t finish. I hate it because that’s a great kid.”

“Matthew was in on a couple double legs and two or three single legs,” Allen said. “He just couldn’t get in. When he was on his double, I don’t know if the kid was just super strong, but Matthew couldn’t get all the way under there to finish off the double. If he does that, it’s a totally different ballgame.”

King dusted himself off and pinned in the first period to reach the consolation finals, where he lost by pin to finish fourth. He had a terrific senior season, going 49-8 with 34 pins and a 33-match winning streak. After finishing fifth in the state at 182 as a junior, he finished with a career record of 95-24.

“He’s a great kid and I am truly thankful for the time I got to spend with him over the years,” said Allen, who began his coaching career as an assistant at North Davie in 2013-14 when the Olmedos, King, Cody Taylor and Peyton Sherrill were seventh graders. “I came up with them. It’s been fun.”

•••

Davie carried eight to the Greensboro Coliseum, including seniors Bill Trader and Josh Chaffin and freshmen Isaac Webb, Jack Jarvis and JT Richards.

Trader went 1-2 at 126 in his second state appearance. He went 41-11 as a senior and 70-22 for his career. Webb went 1-2 at 152, finishing the season 37-16. Chaffin, Jarvis and Richards went 0-2. In his first state appearance, Chaffin went 38-13 for the year and 78-27 in his career. Jarvis went 28-16 for the year and Richards, the winningest freshman ever at 49-8, missed weight by one-tenth of a pound and had to forfeit out.

Davie finished eighth out of 58 as a team. Mooresville was the champ with 136 points, followed by Cary (92.5), Cardinal Gibbons (87), Lake Norman (79), Hough (78), Laney (76.5), Northwest Guilford (70.5) and Davie (65).

“You always want better … but I had some good kids,” Lowery said. “All the families are very supportive. You’re proud of the way they represented themselves.”