Davie looking to add to wrestling history
Published 9:05 am Thursday, November 18, 2021
By Brian Pitts
Davie’s rich history in wrestling should get a little richer in 2021-22. The War Eagles have four decorated seniors and a full lineup.
Last year they went 17-4 and ran the table in the conference for the third time in four years despite forfeiting two weight classes every time out and three most of the time.
“We were not bad last year, but we had some holes and couldn’t fill all the weight classes,” assistant coach Mark McKnight said. “We were down 18 points before we stepped foot on the mat. This year we can fill the weight classes, but we’re going to be young at 106 and heavyweight.”
Seniors Lane Hill, Collin Bailey, Isaac Webb and Jack Jarvis are primed to keep this mighty engine chugging. That foursome has 376 career victories between them.
Jarvis is coming off a 30-0 junior season in which he won the regional and the state at 170. He’s a three-time state qualifier with a 99-26 career record, and he will try to become Davie’s first repeat state champion in 11 years.
Bailey went 20-5 as a junior, finishing fourth in the regional at 145 and qualifying for the state tournament for the second time. His career record is 103-27.
Webb went 27-2 as a junior, finished second in the regional at 152 and qualified for the state for the third time. His career record is 101-32.
Hill went 24-4 as a junior, finished second in the regional and qualified for the state for the second time. His career record is 73-22.
Davie’s 106-pounder will be freshman Alex Tarbet, who has returned to the sport after taking two years off.
“He hasn’t wrestled since sixth grade, so he’s basically brand new,” McKnight said. “He played (varsity) soccer this year, so he’s fast and athletic. We’re going to bring him along slowly; we’re not going to put him in over his head.”
Davie’s 113-pounder will likely be junior Kevin Morgan, who went 23-15 at 106 as a freshman and did not wrestle last year. “He’s real athletic,” McKnight said.
Junior Lawson Hire, who went 26-22 at 113 as a freshman but found himself in a backup role last year, could be the eventual answer at 120.
“We might be empty at 120 early on,” McKnight said. “We’re hoping Lawson gets there. He got behind Adam Szewczyk last year at 120.”
Hill will wrestle at 126 or 132. Bailey (152), Webb (160), Jarvis (170), Testa (182) are ready to do damage from 152-182. Testa is a rising star who went 28-3 as a freshman, finishing third in the regional at 182 and splitting two matches at the state meet.
Davie also has returning starters at 195 (junior Charlie Frye) and 220 (sophomore Brysen Godbey). Frye has 29 wins in two years and Godbey contributed 10 wins as a freshman. Sam Collins is an experienced senior who had 11 wins last season at 138.
The heavyweight will likely be 240-pound freshman Ryder Strickland. “He’s been wrestling for years, but a freshman at heavyweight is sometimes tough,” McKnight said.
Davie has an intriguing first-year wrestler in senior Vance Visser. He’s challenging for a spot at 195 or 220.
“He’s super strong,” McKnight said. “He knows some wrestling – his dad was a wrestler – and he’s going to challenge for one spot or the other and we’ll see how that goes. He’s strong enough to wrestle 220 even weighing 195. I mean, he’s that strong. But you know strength doesn’t always do it. He knows more than the basics.”
Notes: Last spring/summer, the War Eagles captured the Central Piedmont Conference’s regular season title for the 28th time in 36 years. The scores were 40-33 over West Forsyth, 49-24 over Glenn, 57-9 over East Forsyth, 53-21 over Reagan and 63-18 over Reynolds. … On a down note, there are only two home matches the entire season (Jan. 13 and 26). “We tried to host an individual tournament; we couldn’t get enough teams to make a tournament,” McKnight said. “People want us to come to them, but they don’t always necessarily want to come to us. Part of that is we’re Davie County and when we come to wrestle, we bring fans with us. Everybody wants us to come to them because the gate is bigger. That’s nothing new. It’s like that in other sports.” … Junior Danny Olmedo will get spot duty. He’s won eight of 10 varsity matches in two years.