North Surry wrestling celebrated Senior Night Tuesday with a 45-17 win over rival Mount Airy.
Before the matches, Coach Eric Jessup recognized his five senior starters: Tristen Brannock, Austin Collins, Dalton Golden, Austin McMillian and Levi Slate.
McMillian is 36-4 and is ranked third in 2A at 120 pounds. Brannock is 40-6 and is ranked third at 126.
Collins is 39-2 and is ranked fourth at 152. His only loss of the season came at the huge King of the Mat Tournament over the Christmas holiday. He felt a pull in his back, and Jessup held him out of the next match as a precaution, which was recorded as his second loss.
In his first season as a regular starter, Golden is 19-17 while wrestling at three different weights. Listed at 160 pounds, he often wrestles 170 or 182.
Slate is 42-4 and is fourth in 2A at 195, although he has gotten his weight down and wrestled at 182 in this match.
The team doesn’t have any juniors and starts nine sophomores and freshmen, Jessup said. These five seniors have meant a lot to the squad from a leadership standpoint.
As for the match, Mount Airy Co-Coach Steve Braune said, “Jessup had his guys ready to go. Obviously a loss hurts, but losing to a quality team makes it hurt a little less.”
With one forfeit given up, the Bears won five of the 13 matches, the best showing against North Surry in the three years Braune has been with the team. However, while his team was getting decisions, the Greyhounds were getting pins, which made for a big difference on the scoreboard.
The Hounds took five of their eight wins by pins, and one by major decision.
The one forfeit came at 106 pounds for North’s Saige Wolfe as Alex Howard was not in the lineup.
At 113, North’s Jacob Humphries pinned Daniel Sechrist in the second period.
At 120, McMillian pinned Jackson Blizzard with just two seconds left in the match.
The quickest match came at 126 where Brannock pinned Tyler Duty in 47 seconds.
North’s Austin Rozier (132) earned a 17-6 major decision over Cameron Pack.
Then came three straight close matches.
North’s Caleb Lowe edged Shay Wilson 3-2.
“He worked smart on his feet,” Jessup said of his wrestler. “Hopefully Caleb is coming on at the right time.”
Mount Airy’s Triston Mabry beat Devyn Green in overtime 8-6.
It was a standard duck-under move for a takedown, said Braune.
Mabry started the season 6-4, but has gone 20-1 since then. The lone loss was a 7-5 overtime decision to East Surry’s Jimmy Speer. Speer is now ranked sixth in 1A, while Mabry is an honorable mention to the top six listing on Retro Rankings.
Green is ranked eighth in the state for 2A, so this was a quality win for Mabry, his coach believed.
At 152, Collins defeated Andrew Moore in a close 6-4 decision.
In their first meeting, Collins pinned Moore in the second period, so Braune was pleased with the improvement.
Another Bear improvement came at 160 where Dallas Smith earned a 12-2 major decision over Austin McBride, who beat him 7-3 at the Jimmy Martin Duals.
Mount Airy made it back-to-back wins at 170 where Landon Mumford beat Golden 8-2.
At 182, Levi Slate pinned Kolte Poore in the second period.
North’s Corbin Bullins, listed at 170, wrestled up at 195 and pinned Nick Kendall at the end of the first period.
Mason Timmerman was back for the Bears at 220. He missed time at the start of the season with a shoulder injury and has been out sick recently, noted Braune.
Timmerman improved to 28-5 with a 6-5 overtime win over Cody Slate. The sophomore Slate was cautioned twice for stalling and gave up the final point to a third stall call.
At 285, Mount Airy’s Isaiah King beat Austin Akers by major decision 14-4.
King had him on his back near the end of the first period and in the third period, but never got Akers’ shoulders down.
When these two wrestled Nov. 24, Akers pinned King in the first period, Braune pointed out.
The Greyhounds finished the conference schedule at 7-0. In those wins, the Hounds only gave up a total of 65 points. Jessup said the team especially takes pride in not giving up falls.
Against the seven conference foes and 14 weight classes, North Surry gave up only three pins out of a possible 98 matches. One came to East Surry’s Eddie Nunez, and two came to South Stokes.
North Surry hosts the conference tournament this Saturday. The first matches will take place in the main gym at 9:30 a.m. The semifinals will began around noon, Jessup estimated.
Consolation rounds will run through the afternoon. Jessup is hopeful that the finals will begin around 5 p.m.