North fight wins nailbiter vs South fight

Posted at 4:41 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2023

By Brian Pitts

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Wrestling teams North Davie and South Davie held a historic fight against North on January 18th. They have a historic rivalry on the mat, but it was the first decided by three runs or less in at least 28 years. If there was another like North’s 52-49 squeaker against South, it happened before 1995-96.

In one of the best battles you will ever see, both teams captured nine weight classes. North had seven pins and a forfeit; South had six pins and a forfeit.

“It was a home and away game, high intensity, classic North-South rivalry,” South coach Russell Hilton said. “It was fun.”

North won two of the first three games to take a 10-4 lead. Jeremiah Hernandez pinned at 78 and teammate Graylan Anderson took a major decision at 92. Elijah Tatum got South on the board with a major decision at 85.

South put the pressure on claiming four of five 100-128. Leighton Reavis (6-2 decision at 100), Austin Samuels (pin at 108), Aidan Szewczyk (pin at 115) and Laz Smith (pin at 128) carried South to a 25-16 lead.

“It’s a good game there,” Hilton said of Reavis against North’s Hayden Potts at 100. “Both are back as conference champions. Leighton is really hard on his feet. He’s a really strong boy. and athletic. It was a very good game (as Reavis won 6-2).

“(Easton Stanley of North) is tough (at 108) even though he’s in sixth grade. His brother and father struggled, so they know their struggle. I knew it was going to be a tough game for Austin. It was a 4-2 game, but Easton found himself in a bad position and Austin grabbed him and put him on his back. It was huge because we knew we had to score down there.

At 115, Szewczyk had a ho-hum pin in 16 seconds.

“He’s undefeated in his college career,” Hilton said. “If he stays undefeated, he’ll probably be the winningest college wrestler in Davie County history because the sixth graders started five or six years ago. It’s going to be close to 50 wins.

The 134 weight class is where North turned the tide. Brayden Jenkins (134), Isaac O’Toole (140), Landon Carpenter (147) and Javon Carter (154) all bowled back-to-back to give the Wildcats a 40-25 lead. Jenkins’ match lasted just 24 seconds. Carpenter and Carter also pinned in the first period.

“Those are their four workhorses right there,” Hilton said.

Even though North jumped 15 points, the thrilling showdown continued to produce momentum swings. Martin Fuentes-Roberts (pinned at 162), Noe Perez (pinned at 172) and Isaiah Leonard (forfeited at 184) had 18 points for the Tigers, who led 43-40 with three weight classes remaining.

“(Fuentes-Roberts) is really a 147,” Hilton said. “We had him eat and drink and he was 148. For this game we needed him at 160. (Perez) is a freshman in eighth grade. He has improved a lot. He is a very, very strong boy. »

The biggest game of the night came at 197, where two undefeated guys faced off. North’s John Evans pinned David Hicks in third. This actually clinched the result because South had no one at heavyweight. Evans and Hicks were tied 1-1 heading into the tense third.

“David beat John last year, so we had all the confidence in the world,” Hilton said. “Jamey (Holt, North’s head coach) and Timmy (Allen, North’s assistant) both told me I made the right call. It was just one of those times when it didn’t work out. John won it for them tonight. Last time at 220 (December 6) David won it for us. David got caught in the third period, but that’s what you want here. You want two undefeated wrestlers to win.

Bryan Tapia pinned in the first period at 222 to put South ahead 49-46. Earlier in the season, the Tigers had a mainstay at heavyweight in Marcus Fortune, but suffered a tough break when he moved to Elkin a few weeks ago. As a result, North’s Walker Matthews was forfeited in the final game.

“Counting preliminaries and scrums, Marcus was 9-0 with nine pins in the first,” Hilton said. “(In the first encounter against North) he pinned in 10-15 seconds.”

Remarks: The Tigers, who beat North 59-46 in December, slipped to 8-4 with their first loss in seven games. … North’s fifth straight win made it 8-2. … It was the closest game in the county in five years. South edged Ellis 42-39 in January 2018.

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