O’Toole finishes 16-0 for North wrestling

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

North Davie’s Chris Gonzalez and Isaac O’Toole and Ellis’ Carter Hoots and Finn Sink rose to the top in the Tri-County Conference wrestling tournament at Davie High on Dec. 9.

O’Toole treated his 152-pound opponents like a rag doll all season, he pounded out three pins in the tourne and wrapped up a 16-0 eighth grade season.

“He’s got some strength and explosiveness, but his technique is solid and he rarely puts himself into bad positions,” North coach Jamey Holt said. “He didn’t get three periods all year, but Jaden (Dillard), our 160/170-pounder, pushed him in practice all year, which prepared him for any tough matches.”

Gonzalez went 12-1 as a sixth grader at 76. He went pin-pin-pin in the tournament. “I could tell by the way Chris tackled at Pinebrook (football) practice that he’d be good on the mat,” Holt said. “He’s got some natural abilities and has picked up wrestling quickly. Plus, he doesn’t like to be on the mat very long. He wants to pin and get his hand raised as soon as possible. He’s got the itch; he’s already asking about wrestling in the offseason.”

North’s Dominic Ishuin went 2-1 at 83 to finish second, his perfect season ending in the finals. The eighth grader went 15-1. Teammate Peyton Jordan finished second by going 2-1 at 160. Finishing third for North were Graylan Anderson (3-1 at 98), Taylor Shenberger (3-1 at 132) and Nathan Smith (3-1 at 195).

The Wildcats, who finished fifth out of 11 teams, were without two eighth-grade horses – the injured Dillard at 10-0 and DJ McCaskill, who went 9-0.

For Ellis, Hoots pinned two of three opponents to take the title at 138. Sink posted back-to-back wins to finish first at 182.

Daniel Hennessey (2-1 at 113), Allen Moxley (1-1 at 145) and Henry Butler (2-1 at 220) finished second for the Jaguars. Brodie Newman (2-1 at 250) was third.

Although South did not have any champions, it put four guys in the finals. Rico Evans (2-1 at 90), Caleb Edwards (2-1 at 152), Colsen Dulin (2-1 at 170) and Brandon Paster (1-1 at 182) were runner-ups. Colten Beck (2-1 at 83) was a bronze medalist.

Davie’s squads placed fifth, sixth and seventh. Team scoring: China Grove 172, Erwin 171, West Rowan 169, Mooresville 139.5, North Davie 137.5, Ellis 121, South Davie 104.5, Southeast 88, Corriher-Lipe 63, Selma Burke 26, North Rowan 18.