WALNUT COVE — North Surry took first place, and Surry Central went 4-1 at the Rick Williams Wrestling Duals at South Stokes Saturday.
The Greyhounds were undefeated, beating South Iredell and North Wilkes in the championship round-robin.
The Golden Eagles lost their first match to South Iredell, but then won four straight matches to win fourth place in the pod system utilized by South Stokes. Mount Airy went 3-2 and finished fifth out of 12 teams.
The 12 teams were broken down into three pods. Each team wrestled the other three in their pod. The squad going 3-0 advanced to the championship round. The 2-1 team went to the fourth-place pod, also known as the silver pod. The 1-2 team went to the seventh-place (bronze) pod. And the 0-3 team went to the 10th-place pod.
North Surry went 3-0 to advance to the championship. Surry Central and Mount Airy were 2-1 and went to the silver pod. East Surry was 1-2 and competed in the bronze pod.
North Surry defeated Rockingham County 60-12, then beat North Forsyth 57-18 and North Stokes 75-6.
After a lunch break, North came back in the championship pod to defeat South Iredell 54-13.
“They were a good, quality team,” Coach Eric Jessup said of the Vikings, 18-3 at the time of the match.
South Iredell beat Surry Central 46-22, and the Eagles looked really good Saturday, Jessup said.
“Our boys really stepped up in that match,” he said of his team’s dominant 41-point win.
Unfortunately, the Hounds didn’t get a break as they went straight into the next match with North Wilkes.
It’s probably a good thing this happened because that’s how it is at the state duals, Jessup pointed out. Both winners immediately wrestle again, so wrestlers have to learn how to handle fatigue.
Still, the Hounds looked a little off their game as they fell behind 36-23 with just three matches left.
Dalton Golden was wrestling up at 170 and lost a narrow 3-2 decision, Jessup said. That meant that all three remaining wrestlers would have to win, and at least one of them would need a pin.
Also wrestling above his weight was Corbin Bullins at 182 lbs.
“There is no fear in Corbin Bullins,” the coach said. “The magnitude of the situation doesn’t affect him. The opponent doesn’t affect him. He believes he can beat anybody, and that’s the way they should think.”
The score was just 1-0, and Jessup was doing the math in his head. If Bullins won a minor decision, the Hounds would trail 36-26.
Corbin came up with a big throw and followed it with a pin for a 36-29 margin, he said. That took a lot of pressure off Levi and Cody Slate because they didn’t have to get pins then.
Levi Slate, who went 5-0 on the day, got a pin, too, making it 36-35. Even a minor decision would give the Hounds the championship.
Cody Slate (220) went out and earned a fall instead in the first period for a 41-36 victory.
It was the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Jessup said. The coach was hoarse after yelling out instructions for five team matches and 14 weight classes — 70 possible individual matches.
“We matched up well on South Iredell, but North Wilkes matched up well on us,” he said.
Five North wrestlers were undefeated on the day: Austin McMillian (120), Tristen Brannock (126), Austin Rozier (132), Austin Collins (152) and Levi Slate (195).
Devyn Green (145) was 4-1 as was Bullins.
Tristen faced probably the toughest competition of anyone on the team, Jessup said.
“The 126 class was loaded with solid kids all day long,” he said. There were one-point decisions and overtime matches. Tristen didn’t get easy wins, so by that fifth match, he was battling exhaustion, but still found a way to win.
Surry Central started off the day with a loss, but came back strong.
“South Iredell was really good,” said Coach Stephen Priddy. It might have been better if the Eagles had faced someone easier to start the day, then warmed up to the Vikings.
Still, he said, “maybe it helped wake us up. The rest of the day went extremely well.”
In the second match, the Eagles whipped Elkin 66-18, then defeated East Surry 54-23.
In the silver pod matchups, the Eagles won by similar scores, taking down Mount Airy 51-30 and Rockingham County 52-29.
Eight of their wrestlers went either 4-1 or 5-0 on the day.
Heavyweight Wes Brown was 5-0. Uriel Secundino, in his first tournament after dropping to 132, also went 5-0. Zack Martin (160) was the third to go undefeated.
Five others went 4-1, led by Nathon Bautista (106). Bautista was out sick for a while, then came back a couple of pounds over.
Stuck at 19-3 since Dec. 15, Bautista improved to 23-4, one of seven Eagles to reach 20 wins this year.
Bryant White (19-9 coming in) would have joined him, but he had a hard fall to the mat in the first match with South Iredell. His shoulder and ribs were sore, so as a precaution Priddy said he sat the senior for the rest of the day.
Humberto Moreira went 4-1, with his only loss to Mount Airy’s Mason Timmerman, whom Priddy said looked very sharp Saturday.
Also going 4-1 were Kevin Pack, Mason Snow and Raymond Dance.
Mount Airy went 3-2 on the day. Coach Steve Braune said the team just hasn’t done well all season in the first match of the day or the first match back from lunch break.
The two losses Saturday came at those two times. The guys just didn’t look right to start off, he said. They didn’t have the intensity at the start.
Because of the long day, Braune said he and co-coach Michael Bodnar chose to substitute at a couple of spots where they have good depth.
The Bears were undefeated at 145 and 220, with four wrestlers getting wins. Timmerman was 3-0, and football teammate Zaqwan Dobson was 2-0 in his stead.
Triston Mabry was 4-0, and when he sat down with an aching shoulder, Andrew Moore pinned Rockingham’s 152 in 1:13. Moore also subbed in for Shay Wilson at 145 against Surry Central. He pinned Tyler White in the first period.
With his one rest, Wilson was 3-1 on the day as was heavyweight Brian Bennett.
Jackson Blizzard (126) went 4-1, and Dallas Smith (160) was 3-2.
The Bears very nearly made it into the championship round.
They beat South Stokes 48-33, highlighted by Timmerman pinned the Sauras’ stud Evan Scott in 1:08.
The Bears easily beat Wesleyan 54-23 as the independent school gave up forfeits at the top four weights.
Wesleyan’s top wrestler, Sam Pruett, was 21-1 coming in and hadn’t given up a single takedown all year, noted Braune. Landon Mumford (170) shot in and took Pruett down.
Pruett came back to take control and win on a technical fall, but at least Landon never gave up a pin, the coach said.
While the two wins were nice, the Bears already had a loss on the day as they fell by just six points to North Wilkes.
That was the match of “what might have been,” Braune admitted. There were some close matches, especially the one at 132 lbs.
The Vikings’ Austin Lequire is pretty good at 18-12 at 126 lbs. However, rather than face Blizzard, the coach bumped Lequire up to 132 to take on freshman Kenyon Smith. That strategy very nearly backfired as Smith wrestled well and was ahead on points in the final period.
Unfortunately, he made a mistake and pretty much pinned himself, the coach said. That six-point pin instead of a minor decision gave North Wilkes a nine-point swing. The match very easily could have been 36-33 Mount Airy, Braune noted.
Coming back from lunch, the coach said the Bears appeared “uninspired” in losing to Surry Central 51-30. Still, they bounced back with a 42-30 win over Rockingham to take fifth place.
Priddy said that East Surry defeated Elkin early on Saturday, but full results were not available at press time.