They’re grrrreat: Tigers win wrestling tournament
Published 10:02 am Thursday, February 17, 2022
By Brian Pitts
South Davie’s wrestling team produced three champions in the Davie County Invitational at South on Feb. 5 and captured the seven-team field with 263 points.
West Rowan was runner-up with 245, followed by North Davie (210), Ellis (104), Harris Road (100), North Carolina Leadership Academy (46) and Northern Moore (0).
In the 108-pound weight class, Aidan Szewczyk went pin, 8-2 decision, pin to complete a perfect season. Although he bumped up a weight class, he continued to whip everyone in his path.
“Aidan had his closest match of the year, but it wasn’t that close,” South coach Russell Hilton said. “That kid from West Rowan is tough.”
Szewczyk collected 13 pins on the way to a 15-0 record.
“Aidan weighed in overweight on purpose,” Hilton said. “If he wanted to make 100, he would have. He was 102 pounds. There was a little more competition at 108.”
Every time Jakob Alexander of South touched the mat between Nov. 18-Feb. 5, the Tigers got six points. He pinned both of his opponents in a combined weight class of 195/225/250, giving him a 15-0 season record with nine pins and six forfeits.
South’s third gold medalist was Leighton Reavis, who recorded two pins at 85.
“Leighton was impressive,” Hilton said after the seventh grader finished the season 7-2.
North, South and Ellis all had three first-place finishers; North and Ellis just didn’t have nearly the depth that South had.
North’s Hayden Potts went pin, pin at 92, and teammate Andy Davie rolled up three pins at 122. It was just another day at the office for both undefeated Wildcats.
“We debated whether to put Andy at 122 or 128, and we decided it was better to let Andy wrestle what he weighed,” North coach Jamey Holt said. “The problem was, it put Andy and Tanner (Steinour) in the same weight class.”
There was a 252-plus division, and North’s Gio Alcacio took that title with a pin.
Ellis’ Elliott Gould and Dylan Miller put the finishing touches on undefeated seasons, and teammate Nathan Barr pinned a pair of opponents to take the crown at 184.
In the 152/162 division, Miller won by major decision, decision and pin.
“His work ethic and desire to get better every day,” Ellis assistant coach Andrew Marshall said when asked the reasons Miller was able to destroy the competition as an eighth grader. “That’s what makes him what he is.”
Marshall said the same thing was true of Gould, who closed his eighth-grade career with a pair of pins.
“His work ethic and his desire to get better – that’s how (Miller and Gould) are that good,” Marshall said. “They have the urge to get better because they want the best for themselves and for the program. (Miller and Gould) helped lay the foundation for what we had this season, and I’m looking forward to the future. I think we made a lot of good progress, we’re headed in the right direction and I’m looking forward to next season.”
South’s runner-ups were Brody Vaughn (1-1 at 78), Zion Lyons (1-1 at 100), Jamarious Pelote (1-1 at 147) and Kaden Sagendorf (1-1 at 195/225/250).
North’s second-place finishers were Kolby Long (2-1 at 92), Braxton Hunter (2-1 at 108), Steinour (2-1 at 122) and Javon Carter (1-1 at 134).
Long made the most of his opportunity, winning by major decision and pin before losing to teammate Potts in the finals.
“Kolby had been a backup all year, and he beat Ellis’ starter in the semifinals and he pretty much dominated the whole match,” Holt said. “He was up 10-12 points when he pinned him. That was a pleasant surprise.
“Braxton was one of the better ones there (among 102 wrestlers).”
Ellis’ lone runner-up was Jack Bost, who went 1-1 at 85.
The third-place finishers for South were Memphis Nunn (3-1 at 122), Laz Smith (2-1 at 128), Isaiah Baity (3-1 at 134), Isaiah Leonard (3-1 at 147), Maddox Creason (3-1 at 152/162) and Brandon Paster (1-1 at 184).
“Baity pinned two kids who beat him earlier,” Hilton said. “So that was impressive for him to avenge two losses in back-to-back matches.
“Creason gave it all he could (as he competed despite a knee injury). He couldn’t shoot or anything like that. He had to try to wrestle all upper body. He was probably 60 percent of his normal self.”
The consolation champs from North were Jacob Sides (3-1 at 100) and Eli Weymouth (2-2 at 122).
“Jacob has a chance to be pretty good,” Holt said of the sixth grader. “He’s got the body – he’s long and lanky – and is one of those guys that is hard to wrestle.”
Taking third for Ellis was Luis Salas (1-1 at 195/225/250.
Even though he was fourth, no one made Hilton prouder than Ivan Bustamante, a sixth grader who went 4-2 at 108.
“He won his first match and then he had to wrestle Szewczyk, the No. 1 seed,” Hilton said. “Ivan was seeded like 13th in probably the biggest weight class. (In the match for third), he lost to a really tough kid from West Rowan. To wrestle six times in one day and to lose to the champ and to the guy who came in third, I was proud of him.”
Notes: North’s Taylor Shenberger and Landon Carpenter both went 2-2 with two pins at 108 and 134, respectively. North’s Brayden Jenkins went 2-2 at 115. … South’s Troy Gadson and David Hicks both went 2-2 with two pins at 152/162. … For South, Creason finished the season 14-3. Smith went 13-2, Leonard 13-5, Pelote 11-4 and D. Hicks 11-6. … Davis (12-0 with eight pins, three forfeits, major decision) and Potts (10-0 with eight pins, two forfeits) went undefeated for North. Also for North, Hunter went 10-1 with nine pins and Carter went 9-1 with five pins and four forfeits. Steinour and Carpenter went 9-2 and 8-4, respectively.