WEST JEFFERSON — After a grueling regular season, North Surry and Surry Central showed why they are two of the top wrestling programs in the area, finishing first and second respectively in Saturday’s Mountain Valley 2-A Conference wrestling tournament.
The Greyhounds and Golden Eagles combined to place a grappler in every classification, picking up a total of six first place finishes out of 14 separate weight classes.
North Surry took home the team title and also placed 12 wrestlers overall, with Colby Bowman (103 pounds), Blake East (145 pounds), Tyler Simmons (152 pounds) and Tommy McMillian (189 pounds) picking up top honors in their respective weight classes.
McMillian defeated defending state champion Vincent Beam of Wilkes Central on a 10-6 decision in the final of the 189 pound division. The win earned McMillian the “Most Outstanding Wrestler” award for the tournament.
Also placing for North Surry were; Cody McMillian, third place, 103 pounds; Tanner Riddle, fourth place, 119 pounds; Cody Byrd, third place, 125 pounds; Dustin Reynolds, third place, 130 pounds; Chris Murray, second place, 135 pounds; Ethan Hazzard, third place, 160 pounds; Mike Morgan, second place, 171 pounds and Brett Doss, third place, 215 pounds.
Surry Central also placed 11 wrestlers out of the 14 classifications, with Jacob Longworth (112 pounds) and Casey Felts (119 pounds) finishing first in their weight classes.
Also placing for the Golden Eagles were; Austin Cooke, third place, 103 pounds; Cesar Pena, second place, 125 pounds; John Glass, fourth place, 140 pounds; Austin Oakley, third place, 145 pounds; Josh Stover, second place, 152 pounds; Juan Chavez, fourth place 160 pounds; Nate Murphy, fourth place, 171 pounds; Daktoa Holder, fourth place, 189 pounds; Jared Salyers, second place, 215 pounds and Bobby Sheets, fourth place, 285 pounds.
North Surry coach Eric Jessup said he was happy with his teams performance Saturday in what he thinks is one of the most competitive conference tournaments around.
“We just went in there and wrestled really tough,” Jessup said. “It was a tough tournament, it’s a tough conference and we just went in there and wrestled really hard.”
Jessup said all four of his teams finals matches were difficult, particularly McMillian and Blake East, who defeated Matt Mitchell of Wilkes Central by a 3-1 decision.
Jessup said Tommy McMillian showed his talent Saturday, something that did not surprise the Greyhounds coach.
“He was on today,” Jessup said. “He was on as much as I have ever seen him today. He’s wrestled good all year but I could tell in the first moments of the (Vincent) Beam match, I thought he was going to be fine. When Tommy isn’t on he’s still good, but when he is on, you’re not going to find many people that can beat him.”
Surry Central coach Stephen Priddy was also proud of his teams performance Saturday.
“Out of the 14 guys we took, 12 placed in the top four. All around that’s a great day,” Priddy said. “North Surry was the same way. My hats off to my kids. They've busted their butts all year and it showed today.”
Of Surry Central’s six losses this season, four have come at the hands of North Surry. With a possibility the two teams may meet again in the state quarterfinals, Priddy said his team hopes to get one more crack at the Greyhounds.
“They have a good group of guys over there and in most conferences we probably would have won,” Priddy said. “They are ranked 4th in the state and they deserve it. We are just going to keep pounding at it and hopefully next week at the state duals we'll get one more shot at them.”
Jessup said he thinks very highly of Surry Central and the job Priddy has done, saying that without the Golden Eagles nipping at their heels, he doesn’t think the Greyhounds would have been as successful this season.
“They have had a heck of a year and they are a very well coached team and a fine group of kids,” Jessup said.
“I really think honestly that Surry Central has pushed us to get to where we are at. We’ve wrestled four times already and three of those four they pushed us to the limit.”
Both teams face a quick turnaround, with the opening round of the state team duals beginning Tuesday.
North Surry will wrestle Bandys, while Surry Central will face Pisgah. Both schools will wrestle in the same location, but that location has yet to be announced.
Should Central and North advance, they will face off one last time in what is certain to be a high level meeting.
Mountain Valley 2-A Conference Tournament
1st: Colby Bowman, North Surry (9-0)
2nd: Nick Kiter, Forbush (5-4)
3rd: Austin Cooke, Surry Central (5-4)
4th: Jared Storey, North Wilkes (2-7)
1st: Jacob Longworth, Surry Central (7-1)
2nd: Luke Richardson, Wilkes Central (6-2)
3rd: Cody McMillian, North Surry (7-2)
4th: Aaron Walker, North Wilkes (5-4)
1st: Casey Felts, Surry Central (8-0)
2nd: Chad Billings, North Wilkes (6-2)
3rd: Scotty Royal, Wilkes Central (6-3)
4th: Tanner Riddle, North Surry (3-6)
1st: Logan Orr, Ashe County (8-0)
2nd: Cesar Pena, Surry Central (8-1)
3rd: Cody Byrd, North Surry (4-5)
4th: Dustin Pruitt, North Wilkes (3-7)
1st: Bryan Baity, North Wilkes (7-2)
2nd: Dylan Floyd, Starmount (5-4)
3rd: Dustin Reynolds, North Surry (7-3)
4th: Tyler Ward, Wilkes Central (4-6)
1st: Zack Eller, North Wilkes (8-1)
2nd: Chris Murray, North Surry (7-3)
3rd: Nathan King, Starmount (7-3)
4th: W. Jacob Gentry, Ashe County (4-5)
1st: Aaron Scott, Ashe County (9-0)
2nd: Mike Prouty, North Wilkes (7-2)
3rd: Austin Groce, Forbush (6-3)
4th: John Glass, Surry Central (3-7)
1st: Blake East, North Surry (8-1)
2nd: Matt Mitchell, Wilkes Central (8-1)
3rd: Austin Oakley, Surry Central (6-3)
4th: Dalton Lewis, Ashe County (5-4)
1st: Tyler Simmons, North Surry (8-0)
2nd: Josh Stover, Surry Central (6-3)
3rd: Antonio Barrientos, Ashe Co. (7-2)
4th: Davis Umana, Wilkes Central (4-6)
1st: Austin Sloan, Starmount (8-0)
2nd: Dylan Adams, Wilkes Central (6-2)
3rd: Ethan Hazzard, North Surry (5-3)
4th: Juan Chavez, Surry Central (2-6)
1st: Leo Guevara, Wilkes Central (9-0)
2nd: Mike Morgan, North Surry (6-3)
3rd: Vincent Parker, North Wilkes (4-5)
4th: Nate Murphy, Surry Central (3-6)
1st: Tommy McMillian, North Surry (8-1)
2nd: Vincent Beam, Wilkes Central (7-1)
3rd: Matt Walker, Starmount (6-3)
4th: Dakota Holder, Surry Central (5-5)
1st: Joshua Wineberg, Ashe County (6-2)
2nd: Jared Salyers, Surry Central (4-5)
3rd: Brett Doss, North Surry (7-1)
4th: Andy Benesh, Wilkes Central (4-5)
1st: Zachery Caffey, Ashe County (3-5)
2nd: Josh Howard, Forbush (4-4)
3rd: Wayne McCracken, Starmount (7-1)
4th: Bobby Sheets, Surry Central (4-3)