Missing pieces hurting South wrestling team

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

South Davie wrestling coach Russell Hilton has some hammers in his lineup. Big “but” here: The Tigers haven’t been able to put all the pieces together, and as a result they entered the week 1-3.

With guys missing every match, South has had little margin for error. The Tigers opened the season with a 60-48 loss to Erwin.

“We had three forfeits,” Hilton said. “We didn’t have our full lineup.”

The South winners against Erwin were Colten Beck, Rico Evans, Elijah Tatum, KJ McClelland, Dreighton Lunnerman, Xander Proctor, Caleb Edwards, Jason Voss and Brandon Paster.

CG 55, SD 54

In the second match of the season on Oct. 19, South and host China Grove were tied at 54 at the end, but the Red Devils left victorious as they prevailed on criteria.

“We were missing a couple,” Hilton said. “If we’d had everybody, we would have won that one for sure.”

SD 84, NR 12

Four days later at home, the Tigers unloaded on North Rowan. Pounding out seven pins were Tatum, Jack Nail, Zion Lyons, Ivan Bustamante, Proctor, Edwards and Paster.

“I’ve got some eighth graders who are pretty tough,” Hilton said. “(Proctor, Bustamante, Edwards, Lyons, Nail and Paster) are in their third year. They’re all pretty tough. Those are my guys that I can count on for sure this year.”

SE 51, SD 47

Three days later at Southeast, the Tigers suffered their third narrow loss. South jumped to a 17-0 lead before watching the Patriots rip off 36 straight points. The deficit was 45-23 when South got hot again. It scored 24 of the final 30 points, but it was too late.

“I was still missing three or four starters,” Hilton said. “We could be 4-0 if things went our way a little bit.”

Bustamante (138), Edwards (160), Voss (170) and Paster (195) had pins, and Evans (90) won by technical fall.

“Bustamante is a third-year eighth grader,” Hilton said. “He’s going to be a tough one at 138.

“Rico is a sixth grader and he’s 4-0 on varsity. He’s a little athlete. Rico and his brother KJ (a sixth grader at 106) are all in. KJ is 3-1. They are very athletic. Both of them are really good at football.

“Caleb is a beast. He’s one you can always count on (as an eighth grader). I usually wrestle him up a weight class. If I weigh two in at 152, I give Caleb the tougher guy at 152 or 160 so we can try to win two weight classes. And he delivers.

“Jason (a sixth grader at 170) is a stocky dude. By the time he’s an eighth grader, he’s going to be a monster – once he starts growing into his body. He only weighed 154 (against Southeast).

“Paster is 4-0 (as an eighth grader). He’s a 182-pounder but (Southeast) didn’t have a 182, so I chose to double forfeit and bumped Brandon up to 195 to try to steal six away from them. He’s old school; his favorite move is the head lever. So he would make coach (Buddy) Lowery happy.”

CG 67, Ellis 48

After losing its first match by three, Ellis had another hard-fought loss against visiting China Grove on Oct. 23.

Providing eight pins were Grayson Daugherty, Daniel Hennessey, Carter Hoots, Allen Moxley, Finn Sink, Garrett Whitaker, Henry Butler and Brodie Newman.

Ellis 96, C-L 12

Three days later on the road, the Jaguars broke through for their first win in three tries by torching Corriher-Lipe.

Butler, Jaleel Collins, Daugherty, Ayden Davis, Jaxon Gay, Hennessey, Hoots, Parker Johnson, Moxley, Hazen Shrewsbury, Sink, Jackson Strader and Whitaker enjoyed pins.

Erwin 64, ND 40

Erwin improved to 3-0 against Davie County when it traveled to North and dropped the Wildcats to 1-1.

“They are solid with a full lineup,” coach Jamey Holt said. “They look to be experienced and eighth-grade heavy.”

North got pins from Chris Gonzalez (76), Connor Gannon (106), Isaac O’Toole (152), Jaden Dillard (160), Peyton Jordan (170) and DJ McCaskill (heavyweight) and a major decision from Dominic Ishuin (83).

But the Wildcats needed to flip a few more weight classes.

“I thought 3-4 matches could have gone either way, but we gave up too many pins,” Holt said.