Mark Adams Holiday Classic

Cary wrestling takes Mark Adams Holiday Classic

CorrespondentDecember 22, 2013 

— In the words of Cary wrestling coach Taylor Cummings, they are our “Four Horsemen of the lower and middle lineup.”

The borrowed nickname won’t stand the test of time -- Grantland Rice’s “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame” was coined 89 years ago at the 1924 at a Notre Dame-Army football game -- but by whatever moniker the “Four Horsemen” led Cary to the team title in the Mark Adams Holiday Classic that the Imps host in their gym.

All four wrestlers claimed gold medals as Cary made up a 4.5-point deficit to Wilmington Laney entering the finals to win with 209 points to Laney’s 201.5. Sanderson was third in the 19-team event with 186 points.

“The bigger the stage, the better they perform,” Cummings said. “We needed those wins, and we can always count on them.”

They are senior 126-pounder Parker Ragsdale, sophomore 132-pounder Kollin Wade, junior 138-pounder Will Clark and junior 160-pounder Mark Mulligan.

The title marked the first time Cary won the Adams tournament under Cummings, the fourth-year coach and former N.C. State wrestler who replaced the legendary Jerry Winterton in the 2010-11 season.

“There is a lot more responsibility when you host a tournament, and we count on all of our JV and varsity wrestlers to put it on,” Cummings said of the many operational tasks. “That makes it twice as nice when you win.”

As Ragsdale put it, “We don’t want to have to set up everything and tear down everything without winning titles. Otherwise it’s like we did all that work for nothing.”

In all, Cary had five wrestlers in the finals. Ragsdale’s 126-pound bout was the first of three in successive weight classes, meaning Cummings didn’t have to get up from his coach’s chair on the corner of the mat through three straight wins.

Ragsdale won with a pin in 4:35, Wade claimed a 10-2 decision at 132 and Clark rolled up an 18-6 victory at 138.

For Clark, it was his second straight Adams title, but he mentioned the importance of delivering a team title to Cummings. Now that Cummings is in his fourth year, there are no more wrestlers he inherited. Winterton still helps with the program, but Clark said Cummings has made his mark.

“I’m happy to be helping him continue the dynasty,” Clark said. “Maybe one day his name will be there next to Jerry’s.”

Cummings said he as proud of the way his team bounced back from Wednesday’s dual-meet loss to Holly Springs, the first for the Imps’ in conference this year and the first ever to Holly Springs.

“This is great for our team’s morale after Wednesday,” Cummings said.

Mulligan’s 6-1 decision provided Cary with the enough points at 209 to clinch the title, although more matches had to sort out before Cary could exhale. Mulligan said his goal is to make this a comeback season after a disappointing sophomore campaign. He failed to place in last year’s Adams tournament.

“I’ve stepped up my training this year,” he said. “I’ve lifted more weights and I’ve worked harder in the room.”

Cary 182-pounder Alex Zuniga also racked up team points en route to the finals, where he suffered a 4-2 loss in overtime to Sanderson’s Matthew Norby.

One other Southwest Athletic Conference wrestler in the finals was Panther Creek’s Matthew Powell. He finished as the runner-up at 220 pounds with a 6-3 loss to Sanderson’s Antwuan Elliott.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service