Wrestlers advance in state dual teams
Three weeks later, the Jan. 16 near-miss against Glenn is still extremely painful for Davie wrestling coach Perry Long.
The War Eagles held a 36-14 lead with four weight classes to go. The Bobcats ripped off 24 unanswered points to steal a 38-36 win.
Fast-forward to Jan. 30. While Davie was blazing through Reagan, Glenn was beating West Forsyth 36-27. Glenn went 5-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference. West, which beat Davie 40-25 on Jan. 9, went 4-1. While Glenn savored its first conference championship in 27 years, Davie was third at 3-2.
Look how close the War Eagles were to their 28th regular-season title. Had they not blown the 22-point lead on Jan. 16, Davie, Glenn and West would have finished in a three-way tie.
“If we get one more pin, we beat Glenn,” Long said. “It’s just that simple. That is so frustrating. It’s sickening. That’s why I was so emotional for that match. I couldn’t even talk (afterward) because I knew (what it meant).”
What was Long’s take on Glenn’s triumph over West? “I knew West didn’t match up good with Glenn,” he said. “West matches up better with us because West is strong where we’re strong. Where West is weak is where Glenn is strong. It’s all about matchups. We matched up perfectly with Glenn. All we needed was one more pin and they don’t beat us.”
Davie 46, Reagan 24
Davie honored its lone senior, Tyris Griffin, in the final home match on Jan. 30.
The Raiders were easy prey. Kevin Morgan (major decision at 106), Lawson Hire (major at 113), Lane Hill (pin at 120), Adam Szewczyk (decision at 126), Tyler Snyder (pin at 132), Collin Bailey (pin at 138), Matthew Downey (technical fall at 145), Isaac Webb (decision at 152), Griffin (decision at 160) and Jack Jarvis (forfeit at 170) gave Davie a 46-0 lead.
Reagan made the score more respectable by pinning in the last four matches. Long’s lineup had four freshmen, six sophomores, three juniors and one senior. The table is set for 2020-21 – assuming Davie can fill a gap or two up top.
“They can turn it on when they want to turn it on,” Long said of his team.
Although a 2-7 record in matches decided by 1-9 points created plenty of heartache, the War Eagles (25-16 overall) reached 25 victories for the seventh year in a row. Wins over Reynolds, East Forsyth and Reagan gave Davie a winning record in CPC play for the 35th time in as many tries. That’s not nothing.
For the season, Hill is 40-12 with 22 pins. Bailey is 39-5 with 20 pins. Jarvis is 38-6 with 16 pins. Szewczyk is 37-9 with 22 pins. Webb is 32-10 with 17 pins. Snyder is 30-10 with 16 pins. And Downey is 23-6 with 12 pins.
For Hill and Snyder, their combined 70 wins hasn’t been just progress. They’ve made great leaps upward, with Hill going from 4-1 as a freshman to a team-high win total this year. Snyder was 2-3 as a sophomore, and he has authored a 28-win improvement so far.
“Lane is better on his feet than he was last year, and when he wants to turn it on, you can’t beat him,” Long said. “He’s tough. It’s when he wants to turn it on. I’m telling you, he can wrestle with anybody.
“Tyler is mean, man. When he wants to hurt you, he can hurt you. All of those freshmen who are 5-1, 5-2 and 7-2 … If all of those kids stick it out next year, that’s what could happen with them.”
Notes: The War Eagles found out Monday they received a wildcard berth to the state dual team playoffs. They wrestled Tuesday at Mooresville. If they pulled off two wins there, they advanced to Thursday’s third/fourth rounds.