WINSTON-SALEM — They may have held it at Carver High School, but the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference wrestling tournament might as well have been called the Surry Invitational.
Regular-season WPAC champion North Surry and runner-up Surry Central dominated the proceedings at Saturday’s conference championships. Each school brought 13 wrestlers to the event, and all 13 of the Greyhounds and 12 of the 13 Golden Eagles ended up as place-winners. Central, fielding a team with just one senior in the lineup, actually led going into the championship round before the Hounds overtook them and won the title by about 20 points. The Eagles were about 60 points ahead of anyone else.
North Surry won six of the 14 weight classes, including a title at 195 pounds for 2017-18 WPAC Wrestler of the Year Avery Simmons. Joining Simmons as conference champs from the Hounds were Kaleb Martin (120), Quinn Walker (138), Reid Walker (145), Sammy McMillian (170) and Jared Tickle (285).
McMillian earned his 100th career victory in the finals, where he defeated Central’s Brandon Sanchez. A number of the final matches actually pitted wrestlers from the two Surry teams.
“That was a nice moment for Sammy, getting his 100th win and the conference championship at the same time,” said North Surry head coach Eric Jessup. “I’m really happy for him and for Avery. Getting Wrestler of the Year in the conference was a huge honor for him.”
Central, which will join North Surry in the NCHSAA 2A dual-team playoffs on Tuesday, claimed individual titles at 113 pounds (Casey Hutchens) and 182 (Forrest Antwine). Both wrestlers won their second straight titles, with Antwine the only senior competing for the Eagles. Matthew White (145), Steven Cambell (160), Sanchez, Trenton Stanley (195) and David Lara (285) all placed second in their classes.
Earning honorable mention All-Conference honors for Central were Mario Cortez (152) and Daniel Valenzuela (220).
“We really had a great day today,” said Eagles head coach Stephen Priddy. “We knew it was going to be tough to keep ahead of North Surry in the finals, but for a team this young, we wrestled very well today.”
North received runner-up finishes from Toby Pyles at 132 and Chase Brintle at 220. All wrestlers who reached the finals for any team earned All-Conference honors, while all third-place finishers received honorable mention.
Three Hounds placed third, those being Landon Hiatt (106), Adam Martin (126) and Riley Jenkins (182). Hunter George (113) and Tye Smith (160) came in fourth.
In the team standings, Atkins and West Stokes tied for third, followed in order by Forbush, Carver and Walkertown.