First Posted: 2/21/2009
WINSTON-SALEM The second day of competition at the NCHSAA state wrestling finals was not as kind to area wrestlers, with only one of the remaining six grapplers placing in the top six.
North Surrys Tommy McMillian (189 pounds) placed fifth overall in his weight class after winning his first match of the day, but faltering afterward, losing to Tarboros Corey Smith and Wilkes Centrals Vincent Beam.
Despite the disappointment at not taking home a state title, Greyhound coach Eric Jessup said he couldnt be prouder of McMillian.
For a kid that had a record of 7-15 as a freshman to fifth in the state as a senior that is impressive by any standard, Jessup said. Hes worked hard this year, and I am just proud as I can be of him.
McMillian said he was not happy with his finish but did not make excuses.
I still feel like I could have won it, he said. I think the Tarboro kid will win, and I lost to him in the final seconds by one point. It just eats away at me thinking about it.
McMillian said his improvement from his first season to now has come from watching his former teammates and wanting their same success.
Watching Justin Jones our state champion, I always wanted to be good like him, and I started working hard every day like I watched him do, he said. I was always mean, so I didnt need that part. I just needed the wrestling part.
Norths Colby Bowman (103 pounds) missed placing in the top-six by just one match, losing to Dontarious Mills of Salisbury, 7-6.
Coach Jessup said he is positive Bowman will take the loss and turn it into motivation for his senior season.
I am proud of him, too, Jessup said. Hes got that experience as a junior of being top eight in the state tournament, and I think youll see Colby determined as ever to win it next year.
After one of the most successful wrestling seasons in North Surrys history, Jessup said he has thoroughly enjoyed it.
From day one to right now, its been a fun ride, it really has, Jessup said. We have had a lot of support from the community and the school, and parents, and wrestlers, its been a lot of fun.
Jessup said he hopes to continue the Greyhounds success into next season.
Thats the direction we want to go, he said. I am just proud of all our kids. I am just proud of everyone of them. They have worked really hard.
In other area results, East Surrys Markus Brown (189 pounds) was eliminated by Cody Carpenter of Robbinsville; Cesar Pena was eliminated by Johnathan McHone (North Stokes) 12-7 in overtime; Josh Wilson (Pasquotank) defeated Josh Norman of East Surry, 9-2; and Josh Thomas of Mount Airy was defeated by Matthew Owensby of Newton Conover, 10-5.