FUQUAY-VARINA — Even a bloody nose couldn’t stop Fuquay-Varina senior Grayson Booker or his Bengals from winning another wrestling match on Thursday.
Fuquay-Varina defeated Green Hope 54-20 to improve to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Tri-9 Conference. The Bengals finished second to last in 2012 but first-year head coach Ed Petrosky said Fuquay should be able to secure a top-four conference finish this season.
Booker earned one of the most impressive wins of the night, an overtime pinfall victory against Falcon senior Chad Mason in the heavyweight contest.
Booker’s nose got bloodied in the first round, but the senior persevered and refused to get rattled when Mason, a close friend, tied him 2-2 in the final seconds of the third period.
“Chad is one of my closest friends and he’s really strong,” said Booker, who prefers to wrestle in the 220-pound class. “This was definitely one of my toughest matches so far this season.”
Booker’s win gave the Bengals a 24-12 advantage and a huge momentum boost. Fuquay-Varina captured five of the seven bouts following Booker’s victory.
“This was phenomenol, I’m very happy,” Petrosky said. “We’ve been doing the same thing from day one, trying to outwork the other team, but now we are even ‘outtechniquing’ the other guys.”
Yusef Shabazz edged Green Hope’s Matt Mason 6-4 in a come from behind win in the 170-pound class, while Jamel Avery (126 pounds) and freshman Will Wheeler (145) notched pins in 27 and 21 seconds respectively for the winners.
Eric Wilberg (152), William Thompson (160), Roelvis Vargas (182), Daniel Cockerill (113) and Taylor Highsmith (132) also captured wins for the Bengals.
Michael Eastwood (106) and Danny Hegeman (120) kept the Falcons close once the match turned to the lighter weights. Eastwood won with a 19-4 decision, while Hegeman prevailed 6-0.
Green Hope would get no closer than 30-20, as F-V won the final four contests.