Piedmont wrestling too much for Davie

Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The beginning of the match was beautiful when Davie’s wrestling team faced Piedmont in the first round of the dual team playoffs on Jan. 28.

But – and this is a big “but” – after building a 16-0 lead, Davie got flattened 41-28.

Three days before traveling to Monroe, the War Eagles had a couple of gimmes to wrap up the Central Piedmont Conference portion of the schedule. Glenn, a 70-6 loser, and Parkland, the victim of a 75-0 beatdown, both gave Davie seven forfeits. The Tri-meet was held at Parkland.

Davie’s pins against Glenn came from Luke Tehandon, Jamarius Pelote, Hunter Testa and Christian Boswell. Lawson Hire took a major decision.

Against Parkland, Hire, Elliott Gould, Jerred Alexander, Testa and Ryder Strickland recorded pins and Dylan Miller won a decision.

For the second year in a row, Davie went 6-1 in the CPC to finish one win behind champion West Forsyth.

Piedmont 41, Davie 28

The opening stages at Piedmont were everything coach Perry Long could have hoped for.

Alexander pinned at 170, Boswell decisioned at 182, Testa major decisioned at 195 and Brysen Godbey decisioned at 220 to put the War Eagles ahead 16-0.

“We got the draw we wanted (at 170),” Long said. “Jerred came out and wrestled hard. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better draw.”

Testa almost always pins, and Godbey has at least 20 pins this year. They had to settle for four and three points, respectively, but there was good reason for that.

“(Testa’s opponent) stalled the whole time, and the coach told him he did his job when he came off the mat,” Long said. “I was wanting six (at 220), but Godbey’s guy stalled, too, and did what the coach wanted him to do.”

From 285 through 145, the Panthers turned the match upside-down, claiming all eight weight classes and scoring 41 unanswered points to give them an insurmountable lead. They forfeited to Pelote and Dylan Miller at the end. While Long believed Davie could have pushed Piedmont harder, he gave credit to a tremendous team.

The Panthers beat Porter Ridge 30-28 later in the night and advanced to the third round with a 27-3 record.

It was a rebuilding year for the young War Eagles, who finished the dual-team season with a 17-9 record. Of the 19 guys who saw varsity action, seven are freshmen, four are sophomores, seven are juniors and only one is a senior.

“We’ll be back,” Long said. “People were calling me last week wanting one more match because they could get in the playoffs if they beat us. Everybody and their momma called me this year.”

Unbeaten Testa

Testa added to his incredible run, the 182/195 wrecking ball surpassing 100 career wins at Parkland.

He went 28-3 at 182/195 as a freshman, 34-3 at 182 as a sophomore, and he left Winston-Salem at 39-0 with 31 pins at 182/195 as a junior. Add it all up after the Piedmont match and you’ve got a career record of 102-6 with 66 pins.

Now there are 52 guys who have reached 100 career wins, but Testa is just the 15th reach the milestone as a junior. The other 14: Michael Waters, Anthony Olmedo, Russell Hilton, Aaron Hollifield, Hunter Smith, Timmy Allen, Ryan Smith, Patrick Lowery, Alex Gobble, Zack Vernon, Lake Billings, Collin Bailey, Adam McIlwain and Isaac Webb.

One more thing: Testa’s 40-0 season record is the best start since Jesus Olmedo was 46-0 at 220 as a senior in 2018-19. (Olmedo would finish 53-2.) Testa is the first non-senior to start 40-0 in 22 years. In 2000-01, Lowery was 46-0 at 189 before finishing 50-1.

Twelve War Eagles have winning records for the season, including Hire (38-9), Godbey (36-9), Strickland (31-12), Alexander (30-15), Reid Nail (28-14), Gould (20-14), Luke Miller (20-16), Tehandon (17-7), Andy Davis (15-6), Braxton Hunter (15-13) and Boswell (12-7).

Women’s Wrestling

The Midwest Regional at Kannapolis on Jan. 26 was a historic moment as freshman Arwyn Brungardt became the first female to represent Davie in the women’s regional.

After finishing second in the Phillip Reed Rumble at Glenn, after qualifying with a 6-3 season record, Brungardt was among 16 girls in the 120-pound bracket with four state berths on the line.

Although Brungardt was pinned in the first round by East Rowan’s Emma Blackwell, she took a seasoned opponent to the third period. While this was just the 10th match for Brungardt, Blackwell left the regional with 35 matches under her belt (18-17 record). Blackwell went on to finish fourth.

“Arwyn wrestled hard,” Long said. “She was upset (afterward).”

Long had two girls on the team at the beginning of the year, but one quit. Brungardt entered the sport in fourth grade and she wrestled for two years at North Davie Middle.