Hunter Tesla, undefeated, wins wrestling regionals
Published 9:43 am Thursday, February 16, 2023
By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record
Davie junior wrestler Hunter Testa has been so good across three seasons that his latest achievement barely registered as anything special, even though it is a big deal. Everyone knew exactly what was about to happen when the unbeaten Testa faced a 45-5 opponent in the 182 title match in the Midwest Regional at Piedmont on Feb. 11.
Testa beat Kyle Perry in shutout fashion and secured his second regional championship in the 182 weight class.
Testa pinned his first two opponents in the first period. After a major decision in the semifinals, he faced the Hickory Ridge senior in the finals. Testa cruised 6-0.
“He knew it was supposed to be a good match in the finals, and he was ready for it,” Davie coach Perry Long said. “He dominated the whole match.”
The top four finishers in each weight class qualified for the state tournament. Testa qualified for the third time in as many tries. As a freshman, he finished third in the regional at 182. Last year as a sophomore, he took the 182 crown before finishing third in the state. He has faced 12 regional opponents in three years and walked away victorious 11 times. His junior record is a gaudy 44-0.
“I wanted to wrestle fast, wrestle smart and score more points, hopefully,” said the humble Testa after taking on Perry for the first time. “I watched him wrestle a couple matches before, so I was able to kind of get an idea of what he liked to do. You don’t want to watch them too much and get too much in your head about them. Watch them and just get an idea of what they like to do.”
What about when opponets scout you?
“I kind of wrestle everybody a little different,” Testa said. “I think it would be hard to get an idea for how I wrestle, honestly.”
Now Testa has his eyes on the biggest prize of all. This weekend he will try to become the 13th wrestling state champ in Davie annals.
“I feel like he’s locked in for this week,” Long said. “Monday he’ll practice here. Tuesday and Wednesday he’ll practice at Dudley. And on Thursday we’re going to start our journey to winning a state championship.”
“I want to do better than I did last year; I keep that in mind,” Testa said. “But also my practice partners at Combat and at Davie and the coaches, they all keep me humble. They’ll beat me up at practice to make sure I’m getting good looks and make sure I’m working hard.”
Losing in the consolation semifinals, also known as the “blood round,” is always gut-wrenching. Four War Eagles fell one win short of qualifying for the state. Three of them were freshman Andy Davis, who went 3-2 at 126; senior Lawson Hire, who went 3-2 at 132; junior Jerred Alexander, who went 3-2 at 170; and junior Brysen Godbey, who went 2-2 at 220. Davis finished the season 18-8, Alexander 33-17 and Godbey 38-11.
Making it all the more painful, the consolation semifinal was the final Davie match for Hire, the team’s only senior. He went 41-11 this year and 91-48 for his career.
“Those were some tough losses for me,” Long said. “With Lawson being a senior, that really hurt me because I wanted him to qualify so bad. He’s been a leader on the team. He’ll do anything you ask him to do. I hugged him up when we got back. I wish we had a redshirt because I’d love to have him back on the team next year. He’s the kind of guy who makes a coach enjoy coaching.”
Notes: Junior Reid Nail (30-16 record at 120), freshman Elliott Gould (22-16 at 145), junior Luke Tehandon (18-9 at 113), sophomore Luke Miller (21-18 at 138), sophomore Christian Boswell (13-9 at 195), sophomore Ryder Strickland (32-14 at 285) and freshman Jamarius Pelote (20-22 at 152) also represented Davie in the regional. … Godbey will enter his senior season with an 88-31 career record. … Davie finished 10th out of 26 teams. Northwest Guilford captured first with 182 points. West Forsyth was seventh at 111, while Davie scored 79.