RALEIGH — Sandersons wrestling team waited for another Cap Eight conference matchup against Millbrook for more than a year.
The Spartans kept 2013s one-point loss to Millbrook the one that helped knot things in a three-way tie for last years conference title in the back of their minds, and used it as fuel during Thursdays 39-21 win over the Wildcats to remain undefeated in the league.
We waited 365 days for tonight and we were mad for 365 days waiting for tonight, Sanderson coach Jeremy Barefoot said. (My guys) were hungry. They were focused, they were pumped up. I was nervous coming into the match, but I was confident and I knew it was going to take an act of God for anybody to beat us including Millbrook, a very tough team and dead even on paper but I just had a feeling. ... (My guys) wanted this, they were hungry for this, theyve been itching for this for a year.
For Adam DeRose, Thursday was a day of both individual and team accomplishment. The 113-pound senior captain helped Sanderson avenge itself from what had been the only conference team loss in his four years wrestling for the Spartans. He won by forfeit against Millbrook, and later pinned Enloes Stephen Chapman in 2:20 for his 100th career win.
Its just the beginning because the real goal is winning states, but its really nice, DeRose said. It feels great to be there. ... Its not the ultimate goal. Its a reward on the way there.
Sanderson (13-1, 6-0 Cap Eight) is now one win away from completing its fourth consecutive season as Cap Eight champions a title the team intends to win outright this year. The Spartans close the regular season Wednesday hosting Wake Forest.
We definitely want to win it outright, and weve got to beat Wake Forest to do that, Barefoot said. I guess if we didnt it would be a three-way tie again, so we definitely want to beat them because were not interested in three-way ties. ... Its a stepping stone. Winning conference is huge. Winning it four years in a row is huge, but its a stepping stone. Thats not not our ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is a state championship.
Sanderson jumped to an early 33-9 lead through 11 rounds against Millbrook, with Patrick MComas (126 pounds) pinning Millbrooks Jordan Gailey and Brandon Barrentine (170) pinning Hunter Jamison, Christopher Grannan (195) winning by major decision over Aaron Rehberg, and Said Al-Hammami (160) winning by technical fall over Justin McWilliams.
Sandersons Miguel Royall (120), David Losada (132), Evan Angrella (145) and Antwuan Elliott (220) won by decision two coming by two points or less.
(Sanderson is) solid top to bottom. They work really hard, and they just out-worked us, Millbrook coach Scott Saby said. We lost the two close matches, and when we did get a few wins early, they were decisions. We talk to our kids about bonus points all the time, and they held us to just a few wins.
Daniel Powell (138), Peter Neuenschwander (152) and Dillon Dawkins (182) won by decision, and Quintavian Baynes (285) pinned Aaron Hopkins and Crayton Saby (106) pinned Adam Alhorani for Millbrook.
Millbrook (17-4, 5-1) defeated Heritage, 53-17, Thursday before taking on Sanderson, as Enloe hosted four Cap Eight teams looking to finish league matches before next weekends conference tournament and the state playoffs.
We definitely told our guys dont look past Heritage, Saby said. Theyre a much-improved team. They wrestled well and they took it to us and we had to work to beat them, and we knew that would be the task. ... (The multiple duals conference meet) was definitely different, but we are used to wrestling multiple duals at a time. Sometimes with rivalries its emotional and you want to make sure you have everything in place and set ... Would I have liked to have had it differently besides the score? Of course, but were used to that.
Sanderson defeated Enloe 71-10 to cap the night. Wake Forest will host the Cap Eight tournament next Saturday.