ND wrestling in historic season

Published 9:36 am Thursday, January 30, 2020

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The season isn’t quite over – the conference tournament will be held Saturday at South Davie to wrap things up – but North Davie’s wrestling team has already cemented 2019-20 as a historic season.

The dual team portion of the schedule is in the books, and the Wildcats of Jamey Holt have achieved their first perfect record in seven years. At 11-0 overall and 6-0 in the Central Carolina Conference, they went undefeated for the first time since Holt’s first year as head coach in 2012-13.

Ellis 48, NCLA 39

Elliott Gould got a pin at 100 and Ellis took advantage of seven forfeits to beat visiting North Carolina Leadership Academy in a nonconference match on Jan. 21.

The forfeits went to Austin Sweet, Jack Gould, Zander Richardson, Christian Boswell, Ryder Strickland, Cooper Williams and Noah Myers.

N. Davie 60, S. Davie 35

There were three big runs in the North-South match on Jan. 22. Two of them belonged to the host Wildcats, who seized 11 of 18 weight classes.

North raced to a 26-4 lead. The Tigers responded with 25 unanswered points, taking a 29-26 lead on Tyler Davis’ major decision at 147. The Wildcats were not fazed. They closed the match by scoring 34 of the final 40 points.

“Both teams wrestled really good,” South coach Russell Hilton said. “It was a good, intense match, like an old-school North and South match. We came roaring back and took the lead in the middle weights. And then they came through in the upper weights.”

Braxton Hunter (78), Brett Foster (100), Jr. Romero (115), Bentley Moody (154), Cole Thomas (172), Brysen Godbey (184) and Grayson Cayton (252) pounded out pins for North. Hunter Potts won a technical fall at 85, Evan Copeland won a major decision at 187, Cayden Glass won a decision at 92 and Hunter Testa took a forfeit at 162.

South pins came from Luke Tehandon (122), Maddux Creason (134), Jaden Conner (140) and Jakob Alexander (222). Ammiel Lyons (108) and Davis (147) had major decisions, and Reid Nail won a decision.

The Tigers, who had won four straight and hadn’t lost since a 66-33 decision against North on Dec. 17, closed the regular season at 10-4, 4-2 – good for runner-up in the league.

Three eighth-grade Tigers will carry one-loss records into the tournament. Davis, who ran the table last year 160/170, is 12-1 at 147/152/160/170. He’s 26-1 in two years.

“He’s a smart kid,” Hilton said. “He understands when he’s about to put himself in a bad position. He’s also worked so hard the last two years. When he started out as a sixth grader, I don’t know if he even won a match. But he kept wrestling and working hard. He’s lost one match in two years and that’s because he accidently slammed a kid. He would have won that one, too.”

Tehandon is 12-1 at 113/120. “He’s on a different level than most other guys,” Hilton said. “He’s a leg-rider. He likes to pull out the big, flashy moves.”

Conner is 12-1 at 126/132/138. “He’s got the size and length and he knows how to use his leverage,” Hilton said. “He’s smart and he wrestles each match hard.”

N. Davie 96, Summit 9

Hunter (78), Potts (85), Foster (108), Romero (122) and Thomas (172) picked up pins, and Summit handed out 11 forfeits as North breezed to a home win on Jan. 22. The freebies went to Glass, Spencer Melton, McKinley Reavis, Ethan Livengood, Nick Roda, Testa, Moody, Godbey, Copeland, Jackson Barrett and Cayton.

N. Davie 87, Ellis 15

The visiting Wildcats captured 15 of 18 weight classes, including 11 pins, as they curbed the Jaguars’ three-match winning streak on Jan. 23.

The pinners were Hunter (78), Romero (115), Nathan Dczskewicz (122), Max McKnight (128), Reavis (134), Livengood (140), Testa (154), Moody (162), Godbey (184), Copeland (197) and Cayton (252).

Glass won a decision at 92, while Potts, Roda and Thomas took forfeits.

The Jaguars (5-4 overall) finished 2-4 in conference play. They got pins from Sweet (108) and Chad Russell (222), and E. Gould (100) won a decision.

North, which outscored 11 victims 863-222, raised its winning streak to 20 and Holt’s career record to 84-16. Potts (11-0 record at 83), Testa (11-0 at 152/160), Copeland (11-0 at 197/220/250), Moody (10-0 at 152/160) and Foster (5-0 at 100/108) have spent all season cutting opponents to pieces.

On Potts, a seventh grader, Holt said: “His technique is solid and he doesn’t put himself in bad positions. He’s had a couple of grind-them-out wins, but overall he’s made a nice leap (since last year).”

Testa is an eighth grader who is 35-5 over his three-year career. “He’s a worker, great attitude, and he’s all about the team,” Holt said. “He’s made Bentley better every day by showing him little things and coaching him up as they drill.”

Copeland is an eighth grader who is 21-2 in two years. “Copeland doesn’t say much,” he said. “He just goes out and takes care of business. He uses his leverage well. I hope he continues wrestling (in high school).”

Moody picked up the sport as an eighth grader. “I wish we had Moody the last two years,” he said. “He listens, takes coaching and picks up new stuff quickly.”

Foster is a seventh grader who has not lost in a North uniform. He went 12-0 last year, then missed the first half of this season with an injury. “He’s tough in all positions,” he said. “He works hard (at wrestling) throughout the year. He has the potential to be a good one.”