13 local wrestlersstill alive at states

By John Cate - jcate@mtairynews.com

GREENSBORO — There won’t be any Surry County wrestlers who will come home with a state wrestling championship today, but there’s likely to be some bronze medals.

A total of 16 wrestlers qualified for the 1A and 2A state finals this weekend in Greensboro, and all of them have sustained at least one loss during the first two days of the event. However, several of them remain alive in the consolation bracket, some just two wins away from a third-place finish.

Eight Mount Airy and four East Surry wrestlers qualified for states. None of them are still in the running for the title, but all remain in the tournament with a chance to place as high as third.

The Cardinals’ Mitchell Edwards was one of the favorites at 195 pounds after winning the West Regional, but was upset 3-2 by Cory Farmer of Murphy in the second round. Edwards can still finish third if he wins two matches today, but he may have to get past longtime rival Eric Olvera of Mount Airy to do it, as Olvera is wrestling in a consolation match today for the right to face Edwards in the consolation semis.

The 152-pound tournament also saw two local wrestlers competing, including a regional champ. NW1A champ Joe Becker of East Surry lost in the first round to Seth Finney of Rosewood and dropped into the consolation round. West Regional champ Chris Butera of Mount Airy won his first-round match against Rodney Hammond of South Stokes, but then got pinned by Finney in his next match. Because he won his opener, Butera is one round further into the consolation bracket and needs to win just two matches today to claim third place in the state, while Becker would have to win three times.

In the 160-pound weight class, the Bears’ Austin Tumbarello won his opener but then lost to the East Regional champ in the semis. He wrestles today in the consolation bracket, needing two wins for a bronze. Brother Jackson Tumbarello, at 170, lost his opening match and needs three wins in the consolations today for a third.

Mount Airy’s John Bennett lost his opener at 182 and needs three wins for a third-place finish. But in the 2A version of the 182-pound tournament, Surry Central’s Forrest Antwine won his opener before losing to West Regional champ Daniel Pearce of Hendersonville. Antwine bounced back with a decision win in the consolation round and needs three more wins today to finish third.

At 106, East’s Austin Vernon lost his opening-round match. He and Mount Airy’s Barron Pilson are both wrestling in the consolation bracket today in that weight class. Both need three wins for bronze.

At 138 and 145, the Bears’ Joan Ramirez and Armando Estrada are in the same spot, having lost their openers. Each needs three wins to finish third.

At 285, East Surry’s Morgan East lost to Nyterrius Williams of Rosewood in his first match and needs three wins in the consolation rounds to take third.

All three of North Surry’s state qualifiers were knocked out of the tournament on Friday.

Avery Simmons, who qualified for states as the third-place finisher at 220 at regionals, was knocked out in two matches to end his season at 42-9. Sammy McMillian, who was fourth at 170, also lost his opening match of the state tournament, but bounced back to pin Jeremy Cope of Bunn before being eliminated on a decision against Mideast Regional champ Ajani Murdaugh-Wright of Carrboro in the second round of consolations.

Midwest Regional runner-up Reid Walker also lost his first match, won his first consolation match, but then was knocked out in the next round by East runner-up Justin Jolin of Croatan High School.

By John Cate