Fortune a huge find for South Davie wrestling
Published 9:04 am Thursday, December 8, 2022
By Brian Pitts
Four matches into the season, South Davie wrestling coach Russell Hilton knows he has at least six dudes.
The horses for this young team are Aidan Szewczyk, Marcus Fortune, Laz Smith, David Hicks, Isaiah Leonard and Leighton Reavis.
The Tigers were blown out 76-29 at home by Mooresville on Nov. 29. Hilton gave credit where it was due.
“They were a good, experienced team, and I’ve got a lot of first-year guys in the lineup,” he said.
South fell just short, 60-48, in the first of two matches at Lenoir on Dec. 1. West Alexander took advantage of a shorthanded South.
“I was missing a few starters; I had a few out sick,” Hilton said. “If we’d won one more match, it would have been 54-54.”
In the second match in Caldwell County, the Tigers collected nine pins and beat Lenoir 66-42 to even their record at 2-2.
The pinners were Austin Samuels, Dreighton Lunnerman, Szewczyk, Smith, Xander Proctor, Leonard, Brandon Pastor, Hicks and Fortune.
Szewczyk, an eighth grader who went 15-0 last year at 98 and 106, seemingly can’t be stopped at 120.
“He walks around at probably 113. If he was in high school right now, he’d probably be at 106 (for Davie, which doesn’t have a 106-pounder),” Hilton said. “There’s a lot of high school kids ranked high in the state that he’s already beaten at 106 (in tournaments).”
Fortune feels like found money at heavyweight. The first-year eighth grader’s development is beyond exciting.
“Between the scrimmages and extra matches, he’s wrestled five times and all five have been first-period pins,” Hilton said. “He’s 244 and built like a tank. He’s solid muscle. It’s crazy how strong and fast and powerful this kid is. He’s throwing kids around. Man, he gets after it. A lot of heavyweight matches are boring, but he pushes the pace, is aggressive and you better be ready to go as soon as you step on the mat with him. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ll wrestle him in practice. When I’m on top of him trying to pin him, he just bench presses me off of him. I’m 144 but it’s hard to bench press somebody off of you when you’re laying on them like that.”
And then there’s Smith (4-0 at 126), Hicks (4-0 at 195), Leonard (3-1 at 160) and Reavis (1-1 at 98).
“Laz is starting to take it to a new level,” he said. “He knows all the moves. He’s growing so much and he’s a really good leader. When he watches matches, he’s coaching kids. He really helps everybody. He’s a tough kid at 126.
“When those six walk out on the mat, it’s more than likely going to be six points for us.”
The Wildcats feasted on Starmount and Forbush in a tri-meet at Forbush on Dec. 1. They won 90-12 and 72-36, respectively. Dominating everyone so far, the 36-point spread against Forbush was the closest margin during North’s 3-0 start.