Cary claimed two N.C. High School Athletic Association individual wrestling state championships on Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum, the only two wrestlers individuals from the southwestern Wake area to take titles. However, many other area wrestlers took their place on the podium at night’s end, with plenty more finishing in other spots.
Clark repeats in showdown with Devers: Cary senior Will Clark accomplished all he set out to do this season with an unbeaten final year, but he had to face a fellow Southwest Wake Athletic Conference foe to do it.
Clark defeated Holly Springs junior Cam Devers 13-6 for the 138-pound 4A title. Devers ended his year 49-4.
The senior N.C. State recruit, who was hampered by injuries this season and missed more than two months, ends his career with a 140-2 mark and two state titles.
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“Maybe not a perfect start, but a perfect ending,” Clark said.
Wade named MOW: After Clark’s win, Cary coaches Taylor Cummings and Anthony Dunbar didn’t have to move. Clark didn’t stray too far either, with hopes that his teammate, junior Kollin Wade, could make it two champs in a few minutes.
Wade (44-2) obliged in overtime, winning 3-1 to a wrestler he had lost two twice during the year. He was named Most Outstanding Wrestler in 4A.
“I knew I had to stay low, circle and not touch him too much, keep my distance and shoot from the outside,” Wade said.
Clark said he was more nervous to watch his sparring partner go for a state title than he was for any of his weekend matches.
“I was doing moves off the mat because I was more nervous for him than I was any of my matches. I’m probably more happy for him than when I won,” Clark said.
Wade added, “It makes me so much more grateful to have a teammate like Will Clark.”
Claiming sixth: Cary’s Reid Stewart (4A 113) was injured in overtime of a semifinal match and could not continue in the tournament. The sophomore lost his next two matches via forfeit to end the season 26-8.
Holly Springs takes fourth: SWAC champion Holly Springs finished fourth in the 4A standings, the highest among any Wake County schools. The Golden Hawks had four state placers.
“I was super proud of our guys,” Holly Springs coach Nick Nosbisch said. “That’s what we expect, to finish in the top five. We’re right there with the best teams in the state. At a tournament like this, there are always a few things that could’ve gone your way, but it’s a state tournament. Everybody shows up and everybody has a shot.”
Fayetteville’s Jack Britt won the state title.
“I’m truly pumped about the fact that every kid we brought, out of the 10, won a match. Everybody scored points for us, and if you’re going to win a state title as a team, that has to happen. In the future, we just have to do it on a bigger scale,” Nosbisch said.
Senior Travian Cooke (4A 170) went 25-3 on the year, finishing fourth. Classmate Josh Richardson (4A 182) did the same with a 50-7 record, while Holly Springs’ Shane Newman (4A 220) was sixth and went 47-13.
“It’s tough to see them go but I’m proud to be their coach. They left their mark,” Nosbisch said.
Davis second again: For the second straight year, Apex’s Chance Davis (4A 132 took second place at the state championships. He ended his year 43-3 after a narrow 4-3 loss to Joe Mondragon of Wilmington’s Ashley High.
Mondragon was awarded a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
Ending with a win: Green Hope’s Michael Eastwood (4A 106) closed out his high school career with a victory for third place.
“I think I wrestled my hardest. I had a tough match against a second-placer, but I think if I had wrestled a little better I could have turned out victorious. I just wrestled well throughout the consolation rounds and pulled through with a decisive victory,” Eastwood (50-3) said before looking back at his career. “It’s been great. I’ve met a lot of great people and inspirations from past wrestlers and coaches and developed myself through character.
Taking fourth: Panther Creek freshman Joshua Lehr (4A 113) was fourth in his weight class.