Testa dominates: Davie wins Reed Rumble

Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

In the Phillip Reed Rumble at Glenn on Jan. 13, Davie wrestling superstar Hunter Testa pinned all three of his 175-pound opponents in the first period. The senior was on the mat for a total of four minutes, 17 seconds. His season record is 30-0 (21 pins). He hasn’t lost a regular-season match since his sophomore year.

At some point, there are just no words left to say.

“Hunter did what he does,” coach Josh Stanley said. “He’s a spectacle. Everybody is wrestling for third. It’s fun to watch because nobody deserves it more. He wanted to fight MMA and be a UFC fighter when he was little, so he was boxing and taking kickboxing classes. So being extreme was always something he was comfortable with, and that transitioned over to how hard he would work and what level he was pushing in the practice room. Nobody really wants to stand in front of Hunter. He is going to torture his partners and then pick you up and smile at you. He’s got the best mentality ever, but he’s got that dog in him. As a kid he was a pudgy little guy and he took a lot of beatings and embraced it. Now it is his turn.”

The War Eagles captured the 23-team event with plenty of room to spare, marking their third tournament triumph in four tries, the exception being a runner-up finish at Orange. Davie rolled up 236 points to runner-up Mallard Creek’s 179.5 and third-place Mt. Pleasant’s 130.5.

Davie posted three first-place finishers, put six in the finals and placed 11 of its 21 guys in the top four.

The other two first-place performers were sophomores Andy Davis (4-0 at 138) and Maddox Creason (3-0 at 165). Creason’s emergence has been one of the season’s top stories. After going 2-7 at 160 as a freshman, he has soared to 15-6 in year two.

“Getting his first tournament victory was huge,” Stanley said. “Maddox went through a lot coming out of football and he was Hunter’s backup. He worked his way down and got into the lineup and has been in some tough matches. It was cool to see him turn the corner. He’s like an overnight sensation. He’s been coming to club stuff since he was little – he’s been around forever – and he’s beat his head against the wall and not broken through. His body is developing, he’s getting his confidence and everything is coming together at the right time. We are real pumped for him.”

Finishing second were freshman Stephen Jacobs (2-1 at 106), sophomore Tiaj Thao (2-1 at 126) and sophomore Elliott Gould (3-1 at 150).

“Elliott’s a multi-sport athlete like Maddox; he’s not 100 percent wrestling year-round,” Stanley said. “He’s been around it forever but it’s not his only sport. But he is catching on really fast and he is catching fire at the right time. I mean, every time Elliott steps on the mat, he is better.”

The third placers were junior Cayden Glass (4-1 at 120), junior Brett Foster (3-1 at 144), junior Christian Boswell (4-1 at 190) and senior Brysen Godbey (4-1 at 215).

Godbey had a fluke loss to Ledford senior Mason Scott in the first round, but he responded by demolishing his next four opponents. One of his four pins came in a rematch with Scott in the consolation finals.

“(Scott) caught Brysen and pinned him (in the first round),” Stanley said. “Brysen should have won the whole thing. He saw the guy again for third and pinned him in 30 seconds.”

Sophomore Jamarius Pelote pounded out three pins, went 4-2 and took fourth at 157 – not bad for a “backup.” Stanley has a beautiful mess at 157 and some other spots.

“Jamarius placed higher in the tournament than our starter did,” he said. “It’s good problems, but it’s still problems. It’s a constant discussion now where decisions have to be made, and both guys are on the upswing. Jerred Alexander is wrestling better every week,  and same thing with Jay. It’s hard decisions for our coaching staff, but that is the way we want it to be.”

Braxton Hunter, Alexander and Jaden Conner all went 3-2. Luke Tehandon and Reid Nail went 2-2.

The other top records on the team at this point were Godbey at  31-5, Foster 29-5, Davis 28-3, Glass 27-2, Thao 26-4, Ryder Strickland 26-5, Gould 20-7, Aidan Szewczyk 19-2, Boswell 19-10, Jacobs 18-5, Pelote 18-12 and Alexander 17-13.

Davie 74, Parkland 6

In a home Central Piedmont Conference match on Jan. 18, the War Eagles slapped Parkland with eight pins and raised their records to 17-1 overall and 6-0 in the league.

The pinners were Foster (144), Alexander (157), Creason (165), Testa (175), Boswell (190), Godbey (215), Strickland (285) and Jacobs (106). Thao and Gould had major decisions. Parkland forfeited three weight classes.

Women’s Match

Kiera Hinson and Jackie Clare put up first-period pins as the Davie girls blanked Parkland 42-0. The Mustangs forfeited at 114, 120, 126, 132 and 185.

“Kiera is just figuring out wrestling and she’s doing good,” Stanley said. “She’s finally getting a couple shots that she trust and learning how to move around on the mat.

“Jackie is really gritty, she’s curious and trying to figure it out. They’re learning what pace they need to run at in the practice room. They want some results, they are figuring out that comes from the practice room and they are ramping that up a little bit.”