Wrestling spectacular in Stanley’s coaching debut

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

With a fired-up home crowd on hand, the War Eagles looked spectacular in Josh Stanley’s debut as Davie’s wrestling coach on Nov. 14.

It was total domination as Davie defeated Bunker Hill 72-6 and North Iredell 69-8.

“It was pretty good,” Stanley said. “The kids were pumped and knew everybody was coming out (to watch).”

Against Bunker Hill, Davie posted nine pins. Luke Tehandon (120), Tiaj Thao (126), Rid Nail (132), Andy Davis (138), Brett Foster (144), Jamarius Pelote (157), Jaden Conner (165), Hunter Testa (175) and Ryder Strickland (285) did the honors. The Bears handed forfeits to Jack Bost (106), Aidan Szewczyk (113) and Brysen Godbey (215).

The next match against N. Iredell was basically the same. Tehandon (120), Nail (132), Davis (138), Foster (144), Elliott Gould (157), Testa (175), Godbey (215) and Strickland (285) got pins, and Bost (106) won a decision. The Raiders gave forfeits to Cayden Glass (126), Christian Boswell (190) and Szewczyk (113).

When it comes to fast starts, Stanley couldn’t have drawn this one up any better. And just wait until the entire puzzle comes together. Davie is far from peak form.

“Our football guys aren’t all the way there yet, but they’re trying to get back in (wrestling) shape,” Stanley said. “We had them running sprints in the back hall between matches just to kind of fast-track that. We have a few guys that didn’t break into the lineup and didn’t get matches like they want to. So we’ve still got a little bit to show.”

And then: “We have so many options with the lineup that we’re trying to figure out where we can maximize it the most as a dual, and then keep everybody where they can produce the most at the end individually, so we’re balancing there.”

•••

The girls’ era kicked off in a big way. Jackie Clare prevailed in overtime and Arwyn Brungardt rocked a pin as the Davie women’s team took two of three individual matches.

“That was a heck of a start for the girls program,” Stanley said.

Brungardt’s pin was not a surprise.

“She’s a leader with the girls,” Stanley said. “She’s been there. She was the only girl on the team in the past. It’s a fun ride for her to go from the token girl on the team to leading the team. She’s so excited to go out there everyday. It was important for her to start strong, and she did. She’s scrappy. Her mom is a big part of the program, so it’s exciting for both of them.”

The crowd was delirious when Clare barely outlasted her opponent. She went from unsure whether she wanted to try wrestling to exhilaration.

“Jackie has had a handful of practices,” Stanley said. “She didn’t know if she wanted to continue. I said: ‘Just give me one more day.’ I get a text (after the OT win) and she’s like: ‘Coach, that was awesome.’ You could tell it hooked her. It only takes one match like that where everybody is screaming. She poured her guts out. She didn’t know that she won or anything, but it was amazing. She’s an ROTC girl and she’s got a great mentality. She went out smiling. She didn’t know what to think, and that (opposing) girl got gritty, and it was like fight or flight kicked in and Jackie started scrapping. So it was fun to see.”