DOBSON — North Surry took home the two team awards, and Surry Central cleaned up the three individual awards at Saturday’s wrestling tournament.
The Greyhounds won the Western Piedmont Conference Tournament at Surry Central after taking the regular-season crown.
The Golden Eagles were in second place in the standings and finished second in the tournament, too.
After the seven-hour tourney ended, three individual awards were handed out.
Central’s Stephen Priddy was named coach of the year. Nathon Bautista received the wrestler of the year award.
The Eagles also earned the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament, given to senior Kevin Pack.
Some weight classes were noticeably harder than others. The 126-pound class only had three entrants, so all three placed. However, the 120-pound class was packed with talent.
How packed? An excellent wrestler in West Stokes’ George Patrick (24-9 coming in) had to settle for fourth place.
North Surry’s Jacob Humphries beat Patrick in the third-place match. Edwin Alvarenga (32-6 coming in), Forbush, beat Humphries and took second.
Pack beat Patrick 13-8 and then beat Alvarenga in the final to take the gold. That performance drew the attention of the coaches, who voted for the MOW award.
The 120 class wasn’t the only weight with some marquee matchups. Several Western Piedmont wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 in the entire state, and some of them met Saturday.
At 132, West Stokes’ Holden Sands (24-5) had to settle for third place as Morgan Bagley, South Stokes, and Storm Long, Forbush, are two top-1o wrestlers who made the finals.
Long (32-3) edged Bagley (27-8) by a 3-1 score to take the 132 medal.
Another good bracket was at 152, featuring four 20-match winners: Isaac McMillian (41-1), Forbush, Keegan Ross (31-7), South Stokes, Dayshawn Creadle-Rivers (25-10), Carver, and Josh Adkins (20-17), West Stokes.
Creadle-Rivers upset Ross 7-4 in the semifinals, then took a 9-5 lead against McMillian in the finals.
McMillian twice got Creadle-Rivers on his back, plus two points for back time to catapult into the lead at 11-9.
That made the trailing wrestler have to try something desperate in the last 30 seconds for a takedown. McMillian countered the takedown and pinned Creadle-Rivers with just 20 seconds left.
Surry Central nearly got a late comeback at the 220 class. North’s Cody Slate, ranked sixth in the state, was up 3-0 on Kaleb Dunn, who was wrestling well above his usual 195 weight class.
Slate was in control when Dunn got to his feet. As Slate tried to take Dunn back down, the freshman put a headlock on Slate and took the bigger man down. The takedown would have made it 3-2, and back time could have put the Eagle ahead. However, the headlock happened right at the edge of the circle, and the boys fell outside the playing surface, and no points were awarded.
Dunn still closed to 3-2 before the end of the third period for a narrow second-place finish.
One dramatic finish happened in the third-place match at 120. While Pack and Alvarenga battled for the title, Humphries and Patrick vied for third.
The two were tied 4-4 in the third period when Patrick got an escape for a 5-4 lead. With less than 30 seconds to go, Patrick tried to keep Humphries at bay on his feet.
From a restart at 13 seconds, the Greyhound dove in, scrambled around and wound up on top of Patrick with just five seconds to go and won 6-5.
The surprise finish drew the day’s loudest cheer, regardless of school affiliation.
Priddy said he thought the event went very well as Central was the host school.
The fans were really into the matches, and the wrestlers showed good sportsmanship.
As for Pack getting the day’s top honor, Priddy said he was very happy for the senior.
Kevin has been a great wrestler for four years and reached the conference final each time.
However, the first three times Pack made the final, North’s Austin McMillian had his number each match. With “Shrimpy” McMillian graduated, Pack finally got his win.
What makes it even more special is that it came against the guy that beat him on Senior Night, Priddy added.
As for Bautista getting wrestler of the year, Priddy said that this conference is loaded with great wrestlers, and the little guys sometimes get overlooked, so he’s happy that his 106 wrestler was chosen.
This was Priddy’s first time receiving the coach of the year award.
North coach Eric Jessup said this was long overdue. Several times Priddy has finished second in the balloting, including one year when Surry Central was fourth in the state, but East Surry was second in the state.
Of his own team, Jessup said, “I couldn’t be prouder than I am today.” With North losing a lot of seniors from last year’s team, some might have thought this was a rebuilding year.
“We never accepted that,” he said. The team set their goals high and have achieved two of them with the regular-season and conference titles. The Hounds are 25-1 with their only loss to a 3A team, South Iredell.
Western Piedmont Conference
Surry Central High
106. Nathon Bautista, Surry Central, defeats Cesar Cardoso, North Surry
113. Saige Wolfe, North Surry, defeats Brandon Cagle, West Stokes
120. Kevin Pack, Surry Central, defeats Edwin Alvarenga, Forbush
126. Austin Rozier, North Surry, defeats Mario Fischer, South Stokes
132. Storm Long, Forbush, defeats Morgan Bagley, South Stokes
138. Ribyan McClain, Carver, defeats Zacch Gregory, North Surry
145. Uriel Secundino, Surry Central, defeats Quinten Horne, Carver
152. Isaac McMillian, Forbush, defeats Dayshawn Creadle-Rivers, Carver
160. T.J. Whaley, South Stokes, defeats Austin McBride, North Surry
170. Devyn Green, North Surry, defeats Zack Martin, Surry Central
182. Corbin Bullins, North Surry, defeats Hunter White, Surry Central
195. Dylan Edwards, Forbush, defeats Corbin Tackett, South Stokes
220. Cody Slate, North Surry, defeats Kaleb Dunn, Surry Central
285. Nathan Lond, Carver, defeats Austin Akers, North Surry