Davie wrestling tops defending state champs

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

It’s not automatic that a team lives up to the hype after it’s hyped in preseason like Davie’s wrestling team was. Not only have the War Eagles lived up to it, they have exceeded it.

They went 5-0 in the Buddy Lowery Duals on Nov. 18. They were vastly superior in the championship match against Northwest Guilford, the state duals runner-up in 2022 and the state duals 4-A champion in 2023. They’re 7-0 on the young season while destroying opponents by an aggregate score of 462-89. They’re off to their best start in six years; the 2017-18 squad opened 20-0.

Even for a program with a storied history like Davie’s, it’s difficult to overstate how exceptional the War Eagles have been under new head coach Josh Stanley.

Senior Luke Tehandon is off to a 2-0 start at 120.

Davie 60, South Stanly 18

Davie dropped eight pins on the Rebel Bulls in the first match of the day.

Cayden Glass, Tiaj Thao, Andy Davis, Brett Foster, Elliott Gould, Christian Boswell, Brysen Godbey and Ryder Strickland got the pins, while Hunter Testa won by injury default.

Davie 69, ND 11

Stephen Jacobs, Thao, Reid Nail, Davis, Foster, Jamarius Pelote, Gould, Testa, Boswell and Strickland enjoyed pins as Davie made quick work of North Davidson. Godbey survived a 10-8 decision as the War Eagles seized 12 of 14 weight classes.

Davie 66, W. Iredell 12

The next battered victim was West Iredell. Aidan Szewczyk, Jerred Alexander, Strickland and Jacobs got pins; Pelote and Gould took decisions; and the Warriors handed over six forfeits.

Davie 71, Carson 12

It was a pin parade as Glass, Thao, Davis, Foster, Pelote, Jaden Conner, Testa, Boswell, Godbey, Jacobs and Szewczyk stuck Cougars to their backs.

Davie 55, NWG 21

The Vikings are the defending 4-A champions, but they barely put up a fight against the raging War Eagles, who grabbed 10 of 14 matches on the way to their closest victory of the year.

“I’m pretty close to a lot of those guys (on Northwest’s team),” Stanley said. “They’ve got some young guys, but it’s still really good for our guys to beat somebody like that and believe it a little bit more.”

The romp featured seven pins from Thao, Foster, Alexander, Boswell, Strickland, Jacobs and Szewczyk. Davis got a major decision. Glass was a clear winner in a 10-4 decision.

Five War Eagles who have wrestled more than a couple matches are unbeaten, including Strickland (7-0 at 285), Testa (7-0 at 175), Foster (7-0 at 144), Davis (7-0 at 138) and Glass (6-0 at 120/126).

Strickland has six pins and a forfeit.

“We need him to get more time on the mat, but I’m definitely not saying (don’t pin ‘em),” Stanley said. “He’s doing the right stuff.”

Testa has five pins, an injury default and a forfeit. Foster has six pins and one forfeit. It’s an amazing start for the junior who missed the past two years with injuries.

“Foster is a buzzsaw,” Stanley said. “His freshman year he tore his ACL. He got a neck injury (last year). He broke his ankle in middle school. To sit for two years, it’s so fun to see him right back at it like he’s not even rusty.”

On Davis, Stanley said: “Every day you can see his confidence coming. He’s somebody in the future that were really looking to.”

Boswell is 6-1 at 190. “He wrestles really tough guys all the time, so he’s just now starting to believe in himself,” Stanley said. “By the end of the year, he’s going to be somebody to look for. Testa is a tough (practice) partner, so sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself when you’ve got a buzzsaw on you all day.”

Godbey is 6-1 at 215, and Thao is 5-0 with five pins at 126/132.

“(Thao’s) a buzzsaw,” Stanley said. “If you get him rolling and believing, he’s hard to stop.”

Szewczyk is 5-0 at 113/120. Nail and Jacobs are 4-1 at 132 and 113, respectively. Unfortunately, Nail suffered a knee injury during the Lowery Duals. Fortunately, Davie is extremely deep in the spots around 132.

“I hope it’s not too bad,” Stanley said. “He might have strained his MCL. If it had to happen, now is a good time and it’s at a good place because we’re so deep there.”

Pelote (150/157) and Gould (157) are both 4-2. Jack Bost (106) and Luke Tehandon (120) are both 2-0. Alexander is 2-1 at 165.

“We are real high on (Alexander),” he said. “He’s just coming back from football, and his first day he was wrestling with Testa and tweaked his ankle.”