Middle school wrestlers face in-county foes
Published 8:41 am Thursday, December 9, 2021
By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record
South Davie’s wrestling team erased a 10-point deficit with a 30-0 run from 145-182, and the Tigers ended North Davie’s 20-match winning streak, 66-40, on Nov. 30 at South.
“To be honest, both of us were missing a few,” said a humble South coach Russell Hilton, who implied the rematch could go either way. “North had five forfeits.”
The Wildcats built a 34-24 lead by getting a major decision from Riley Kennedy (83 weight class) and pins from Hayden Potts (90), Braxton Hunter (98), Tanner Steinour (120), Andy Davis (126) and Landon Carpenter (138).
But the Tigers hit their stride at 145, where Isaiah Leonard ignited the massive run across five weight classes with a pin. David Hicks (160) and Maddox Creason (182) added pins. Two forfeits were mixed in as South surged to an insurmountable 54-34 lead.
North’s Michael Howard pinned at 195, but North handed over forfeits at 220 and 250.
South’s early pinners were Aidan Szewczyk (106), TJ Douglas (113) and Laz Smith (132).
No moment excited Hilton more than Hicks’ second-period pin at 160. John Evans’ valiant effort created excitement.
“They were in a headlock, then a barnyard,” Hilton said. “They were scrapping and fighting in different positions. David was close to being on his back once or twice. (Evans) was on his back three times. That was the most exciting match. You didn’t know which way it was going to go half the time.”
The Tigers, who had dropped six straight in the series, beat North for the first time since January of 2017. It was the season opener for the Wildcats, who lost for the first time since 54-48 to North Iredell in November of 2018.
At this point, Szewczyk was 5-0 with five pins, Jakob Alexander 5-0 with 30 points (two pins, three forfeits), Smith 4-1 with four pins and Hicks 3-0 with three pins.
“Hicks is already pretty tough (as a seventh grader), but he’s going to be very tough,” Hilton said. “He’s getting a lot better every day.”
SD 94, NCLA 6
It hardly mattered that South was missing 11 guys on Dec. 2 at North Carolina Leadership Academy. It received 11 forfeits and breezed to 3-3.
“Between injuries, quarantines, all kinds of stuff,” Hilton said of his shorthanded roster.
Zion Lyons (106), Douglas (120), Leonard (152) and Hicks (160) had pins, and Brody Vaughn (83) won by major decision.
“They only had six kids, but we wrestled a lot better today,” Hilton said. “We’re doing things right. Their kids wrestled twice and we only lost one out of 12 matches.”
ND 72, Thomasville 30
Kennedy, Hunter, Isaac O’Toole, Javon Carter, Carpenter and Evans provided pins as North evened its record at 1-1 at home on Dec. 2. North’s other six wins were forfeits.
Ellis 64, Oakwood 30
The Jaguars made Matthew Thacker a winner in his Ellis coaching debut at home on Nov. 30. Thacker replaced Mike Foster, who guided Ellis for one year.
Jacob Steelman, Owen Blakely, Elliott Gould and Dylan Miller had the pins, Jack Bost won by major decision and Oakwood forfeited six weight classes.
Ellis 90, Thomasville 12
Ellis pounded out nine pins in a tri-meet at North on Dec. 2. Bost, Luke Hannah, Kevin Duran, Allen Moxley, Gould, AJ Sweet, Miller, Nathan Barr and Omar Varcena Guadarrama stuck their opponents.
Ellis scored 36 points on forfeits.
ND 48, Ellis 42
The Wildcats roared to a 42-6 lead at home on Dec. 2, but the win almost came undone as Ellis dominated from 138-195. But M. Howard restored order with a clutch pin at 220, and North (2-1) defeated Ellis (2-1) for the fourth time in a row.
Coach Jamey Holt got consecutive pins from Potts (90), Hunter (98), Brayden Jenkins (106), Steinour (113), O’Toole (120), Davis (126) and Carter (132) to open up the big lead.
Ellis answered with pins from Gould (138), Elijah Chaffin (145), Sweet and Luis Salas (195) and a forfeit to Miller (160). The 30 straight points pulled Ellis within 42-36 with two matches to go.
North’s M. Howard, though, settled the issue in the first period at 220.
“I told him and his brother (Reid): ‘One of you have to win,’” Holt said. “He listened. He attacked right away and took care of business. If he was nervous, he didn’t show an ounce of it.”
Potts, Hunter, Steinour, Davis and M. Howard are off to 3-0 starts for North. Carter is 2-0.
“Hayden is pretty tough,” Holt said. “I think he’s going to have two good years for us. Braxton is a gamer. When the lights come on, he seems to wrestle as good as anybody. Tanner is a first-year seventh grader, but he’s going to be fine. Andy is the only guy we’ve had for three years. He’s got potential. If he really sticks to it, he could have a pretty good high school career. Both twins (M. Howard and R. Howard) are first-year seventh graders. Michael has picked up on it pretty quick. He’s aggressive.”
Don’t overlook Jenkins, who is 2-1 with a loss to one of the county’s foremost wrestlers, Szewczyk.
“Brayden is going to be pretty tough at 106,” Holt said. “He had to wrestle Aidan against South; that’s why he’s 2-1.”
Ellis has 6 guys with 3-0 records – Bost, Gould, Chaffin, Sweet, Miller and Salas. Gould has 3 pins.