Three things in life are certain — death, taxes, and a Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title for the North Surry wrestling team,
The Greyhounds entered their match on Tuesday night with some work left to do in order to make it nine WPAC titles in a row and 10 out of 11. During the regular season, North, Surry Central and South Stokes had beaten up on one another, and the Golden Eagles and the Sauras had already finished their league slates at 4-1. To join them as tri-champions for 2017, the Hounds needed to take care of business against Forbush on Senior Night.
After honoring seniors Austin Shumate, Levi Childress, Carlo Perez, Corey Barker and Nick Huff for their contributions to the program, it was time for they and their teammates to take care of business on the mat, which they did in a 60-18 victory.
The Falcons got all of their points in the lower weight classes, and then North Surry (13-8, 4-1 WPAC) stormed to victory, winning the last seven individual matches and scoring the maximum 42 points in so doing. Michael Martin’s win by forfeit at 170 pounds gave the Hounds a 42-18 lead with three matches left and clinched a share of the WPAC title for his team.
North’s Tra Gates opened the match at 106 pounds by receiving a forfeit. However, the Falcons’ Chase Farmer tied the match by scoring a pin against Jake Lawson at 113, and then Forbush took the lead when Caleb Price edged Reid Walker at 120 on an 8-6 minor decision. The Falcons’ Edwin Alvarenga scored a piu at 126 over North’s Kaleb Marin, and Forbush took its biggest lead of the match at 15-6.
North Surry’s Kobe Slate and then Shumate answered for the Hounds, scoring pins at 132 and 138, respectively, and putting the home team in front 18-15. Forbush earned its final win of the night at 145, with Carson Pruitt scoring an 8-4 minor decision over Burrell Hunter to tie the score at 18.
The rest of the night belonged to the Hounds.
Childress received a forfeit at 152. Sammy McMillian added six more to the North Surry tally when he pinned Jovanis Pozo for the win at 160. At 170, Martin’s forfeit win assured the conference title. Perez followed that with a pin at 182, and Avery Simmons followed suit at 195. Jared Tickle scored a pin over the Falcons’ Zach Murray at 220 in the final contested match before Huff received a forfeit at 285 to end the match.
The Greyhounds will return to action on Saturday in the WPAC Tournament at Forbush.
South Stokes 43, North Surry 30
The reason that the Hounds didn’t win the league outright occurred the previous Friday night in Walnut Cove, when Northj wasn’t able to hold an early lead at South Stokes.
In this match, North led 30-18 with six matches left. The match had begun at 170 pounds, a spot that allowed the Hounds to get some of their top performers into the scorebook early on. Martin, Simmons, Perez and Tickle had North in front 24-0 going into the match at 285, where the Sauras finally got on the board. South Stokes won three straight matches, but then Reid Walker picked up a forfeit at 120 to extend the lead back to a dozen.
At 126 pounds, Jackson Boles, the state’s fifth-ranked wrestler in the 2A ranks at that weight, was paired against Quinn Walker, ranked 10th at 120. Despite the weight disparity, the two competed on equal terms for the entire match, with Boles finally pulling out a 4-3 win.
With the score at 30-21, the Sauras started to pick up momentum. At 132, Stokes won a major decision, and then Shumate lost a close decision at 138. South Stokes took a 31-30 lead when Cooper Ross held off Hunter 8-4 at 145. This left two matches to go, but the Sauras won at 152 and 160 to secure the victory.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.