The loud wrestling crowd at Cary’s Charles Adams gym rattled rafters at the risk of the Holly Springs and Cary coaches straining their vocal cords futilely to shout instructions to athletes on the mat.
They were on their own, and Holly Springs won enough of the tight matches to climb out of an early deficit for a 53-21 win Wednesday night in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference dual meet.
“It’s big to win at Cary,” Holly Springs heavyweight C.J. Toogood said. “We’ve beaten Cary two years in a row; that’s never happened at our school.”
An early-season victory over traditional power Cary could prove crucial to claiming the SWAC dual meet title since the Imps have an injury-riddled lineup expected to improve with time. Holly Springs is 2-0 in the SWAC, while Cary dropped to 1-2.
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Toogood and Cary’s Javon Jarrett were locked in a struggle, but with Toogood holding a 3-2 lead in the third period he pulled off a move that resulted in a pin in 4 minutes, 46 seconds.
“I could feel him starting to tire, so I went for a big move,” Toogood said. “Fortunately, it worked out.”
With the dual meet beginning at 132 pounds, Toogood’s pin gave Holly Springs a 33-21 lead with only three matches left to contest since Cary had already planned to forfeit at 106 pounds. The 106 forfeit bumped the Golden Hawks’ lead to 39-21, meaning Cary would have to win the final three matches by pins just to force a tie.
Those matches turned anti-climactic once Holly Springs’ Hunter Morton won at 113 by pin for a 45-21 lead. Aaron Flaherty at 120 and Joe Myers at 126 recorded major decisions for the final team points.
“We knew Cary was down some people, but we were confident,” said Holly Springs head coach Nick Nosbisch, who is in his first year as the head coach after two years as an assistant. “We knew we had to bring our A game, and we had some solid matches.”
Cary got off to a strong start when the meet began at 132 and Dylan Aubrey recorded a pin in 3:04 for a 6-0 lead.
Holly Springs responded with its pin at 138 from Cam Devers in 1:32 to tie the score, but that brought out Imps’ sophomore Kollin Wade at 145. Wade, a third-place state-meet medalist a year ago, recorded at pin 2:55 for a 12-6 team lead.
Erique Zuniga, one of four Cary stars who have been injured, made his return and recorded a pin at 160 followed by a decision from James Gressett at 170 to provide Cary with a 21-9 lead. But the Imps didn’t record another win the rest of the night.
“Right now Holly Springs is a better team than us,” Cary coach Taylor Cummings said. “We have to remain upbeat and know that we’ll be a better team in January.”
Nosbisch’s final words in a post-match team huddle were a sign of the times. He congratulated his athletes for winning with sportsmanship and added, “Stay off social media; regardless of what anyone says.”