Despite great success this season, all four wrestling teams have to go on the road today for the start of the state dual-team playoffs.
In the 1A brackets announced Monday, Mount Airy, with a stellar 26-7 record, goes to Cherryville, who gets to host three visiting teams despite a weak 7-22 record.
East Surry, which finished second to the Bears in the Northwest Conference, travels to Starmount despite having a 13-10 record that is vastly better than the Rams 12-20 mark.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association uses a rotating schedule for seeding priority. A team like Cherryville can still get a home date because it is the top 1A seed from the Southern Piedmont Conference.
North Surry is a force every season and has backed that up with a 25-1 record this season. However, like Rodney Dangerfield, the Greyhounds still battle a lack of respect across the state.
The Hounds’ only loss came to a very good 3A school, yet they are only tied for fourth in 2A in the dual-team coaches’ poll on RetroRankings.com.
Few would argue against perennial powerhouse Newton-Conover being the top seed with its 47-1 record.
However, Thomasville in second place is 38-4, three more losses than the Hounds. Croatan in third place is only 19-8.
The two teams tied for fourth with North Surry are West Lincoln (34-9) and West Wilkes (23-10).
The Hounds will get a chance to show what they can do as they take on West Lincoln at Monroe. If the Hounds survive that battle, the second round is just as tough with Thomasville waiting in the wings.
The NCHSAA somehow put three of the top five teams in the state in the same four-team pod.
The Granite Bears also landed a tough pod.
Mount Airy faces Rosman (14-8), Smoky Mountain Conference, in the first round. When they get to the second round, the Bears likely will face Mitchell, 33-7 and ranked second in 1A.
Surry Central (15-11) travels to Salisbury with a fairly favorable pod. The Golden Eagles take on Hunter Huss (9-6), Big South Conference, in the first round. The winner advances to face either host Salisbury (11-8) or Mount Pleasant (18-11).
At Starmount, East Surry faces the Rams in the first round. Starmount has five wrestlers with 24 or more wins, but doesn’t have much strength beyond those weights and lost by 35 points against Mount Airy.
If the Cardinals advance, the team would face the winner of Robbinsville (13-5), the top seed from the Smoky Mountain Conference, or Bishop McGuinness (12-9), who got a wild card for the Northwest. The Cards beat the Villains 48-28 last week.
One other area school is in action.
West Wilkes, the top 2A team from the Mountain Valley Conference, takes on Brevard (11-15) at Newton-Conover, with the state’s top-ranked team looming in the second round.