Davie wrestlers defeat perennial powerhouse Cary
Published 10:39 am Thursday, December 9, 2021
By Brian Pitts
Anything that could go wrong went wrong when Davie’s wrestling team faced North Iredell.
The War Eagles were missing their 106- and 160-pounders. Jack Jarvis lost for the first time in two seasons. Vance Visser lost after having victory in his grasp.
Enough about that for now. Let’s talk about how the War Eagles responded in a big match at Cary. They created joy. Collin Bailey, Isaac Webb and Jarvis lifted them to a commanding lead, and Davie won a showdown between two heralded programs.
“They were typical Cary fans,” coach Perry Long said. “It was loud. We had a good crowd. They were pumped up.”
Davie wrestled twice at N. Iredell on Nov. 30. The first one was a 54-21 thumping of Bunker Hill. Reid Nail, Lane Hill, Jarvis, Hunter Testa, Brysen Godbey and Ryder Strickland pinned the Bears, who forfeited at 120, 152 and 195.
Then came a forgettable 44-36 loss to North Iredell, Davie’s first setback after a 4-0 start.
It was missing Alex Tarbet (106) and Webb, a tremendous senior at 160.
“We could have won (at 106),” Long said. “Isaac wasn’t feeling good, so we forfeited at 160. He wrestled the first match (against Bunker Hill), but he wasn’t feeling good.”
Lawson Hire (120), Max McKnight (126), Hill (138), Bailey (152) and Testa (182) did their part with pins, and Godbey received a forfeit at 220. It was the first varsity win for sophomore McKnight.
Davie was ahead 24-17 when Jarvis, the 2021 4-A champion at 170, took the mat. He was looking for his 38th consecutive win, but he stumbled 4-3 for his first loss since the 2020 state meet at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“Jack lost at the last second,” Long said. “He gave up an escape and that’s how he lost. I said: ‘Jack, you won a state championship. You have to be on your A game against everybody you wrestle. You have a target on your back. Now you can go back to the drawing board.’ (N. Iredell’s 170) is strong and athletic and Jack wasn’t moving his feet. He knows he didn’t wrestle good.”
Testa’s pin gave Davie a 30-20 lead, but Visser let a 9-6 third-period lead evaporate at 195. A forfeit to Godbey restored a 36-26 Davie lead, but North won the last three matches, two of them by forfeit, to pull the upset.
“Vance got hit with 20 seconds left with a barnyard and was put to his back,” Long said. “They’re not better than us. We didn’t wrestle good.”
One day later, the War Eagles wrestled twice at Cary. They took down Ragsdale, 48-33, in their first match. Pins by Sam Collins, Bailey, Webb, Jarvis and Testa sent Davie to a 30-0 lead. Hire and Godbey, who bumped up to heavyweight for this match even though he only weighs around 215, would add pins.
Later in the evening, Davie and Cary met for the first time in 14 years. They’ve staged some of the most epic matches in state history. The state dual playoffs began in 1990, and Cary has finished first nine times, the last coming in 2018, and second seven times. That’s 16 state finals in 32 years. Davie has finished first twice (1994, 2006) and second five times (1995, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008).
What a showing for the War Eagles. They ripped off five pins, weathered a Cary comeback and won 44-33 to run their record to 6-1.
Long couldn’t have scripted a better place to begin the match. Starting at 152, Bailey, Webb and Jarvis went pin, pin, pin to provide an 18-0 lead.
“I felt good starting there because I knew we could set the tone early,” he said. “Once we set the tone, I felt like they were going to have a hard time.”
Jarvis’ first-period pin was a signature moment.
“Jack pinning was a big one because that kid was 11-0,” assistant coach Mark McKnight said. “That put a nail in them pretty good. They didn’t expect that (pin).”
Another big moment was Godbey’s pin at 220 that created a 24-12 gap.
“They had it penciled in that they were going to win that one,” McKnight said. “That guy is pretty good and Brysen wore him out. He owned the whole match. It wasn’t a fluke; he didn’t catch him. He wore him out.”
Davie has seen significant improvement from Godbey, who went 10-10 as a freshman at 220/heavyweight. This season he’s an head-turning 9-1.
“He has improved tremendously,” McKnight said. “He has wrestled great, especially the last four matches. He has proven that he’s learning and progressing. He’s not trying to do the same thing over and over. Against Cary, he would run one move standing. Then he wouldn’t run it again; he would run something different. Then he’d go back to it. He had the guy so confused, he didn’t know what he was doing. He wrestled like a veteran and he’s only a sophomore.”
Davie also got a pin from Tarbet that made it 30-18 and a technical fall from Hill that made it 41-27. Cary (7-3) forfeited to McKnight at 126.
Notes: This was the first Davie-Cary match since the Imps won 40-27 in the 2008 state dual team final. … Bailey is the only unbeaten War Eagle at 10-0. Hill (10-1), Godbey and Jarvis (9-1) have one loss. Testa is 8-2, Hire 8-3, Collins 7-5, Webb 5-1 and Tarbet 4-1.