East Wake wrestlers and coaches spent Monday evening recognizing the successes of the winter season at a dinner and awards banquet.
Some of the Warriors’ accomplishments took place on the mat. For others, it was maintaining high marks in the classroom while adding the extracurricular activity to their agenda.
Head coach Brian Staples and assistant coach Jordan Miller issued varsity letters to 17 wrestlers and three team managers at the event. Staples also praised his team’s production of a 10-17 (3-3 Greater Neuse River 4A Conference) record in a season complicated by injuries and wintry weather.
A total of 22 team members were recognized for achievements within the conference. Sixteen of those were based on academic success.
“I am most proud of this group and their accomplishments in the classroom,” Staples said. “We stress you are student-athletes, with the emphasis on student. To have such a large group earn Academic All-Conference, this is a testament to the type of kids we have and their families.”
Awards from inside the East Wake program went to team captains Markus Mayner, Cody Staples, Phillip Stone and Morgan Wilder, who earned stars for their leadership to add to their varsity letters.
Wilder also took home the coach’s award and Mayner the Warrior award. Alston Willard was named the most improved wrestler.
Cody Staples, the coach’s son, was given East Wake’s most outstanding wrestler award – the Charles Paul Award, named in honor of the fallen Raleigh Police Officer and former East Wake wrestler.
For the program as a whole, another highlight of the season was the purchase of a new wrestling mat that replaced one that had been in commission for 24 years.
Coach Staples oversaw the eight-month process of raising of about $7,000 to pay for the 42x42 surface, the largest the school has ever had. Much off the support came from a live wrestling event put on at the school by former East Wake and later WWE wrestler Shane “The Hurricane” Helms over the 2013 Memorial Day weekend.
The honor is given to scholar-athletes in fifth grade or higher who have at least a 96 percent grade average in school.
The Dragons recognized are Abby Villareal, Alexia Evans, AJ Burr, Alexander Williams, David Rhodes, Dax Hardy, Elizabeth Sommerville, Ian Cope, Jacob Gill, Jalen Applewhite, Jamal Applewhite, James Paul, Jax Masterson and Jaylon Marshall;
Also, John Hagen, Jonathan Matthews, Lauren Barnes, LJ Lennon, Marques Roper, Matthew Weddle, Nate Albertson, Nate Paul, Nathan Berry, Takoda Valles, Thomas Brown, Torrian Lynch, Wesley Heaton, Will Fox, Zach Dobbins and Zeke Cartwright.
The local scholar-athletes will be recognized again the weekend of May 23-24 at the Pop Warner Scholar Banquet, held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 919-269-2287 or visiting carolinamudcats.com.
Regular season ticket prices range from $7-15 for adults. Box and general admission seats are free for children ages 3 and younger and cost $4 for kids ages 4-6. Season tickets and group plans are also available.
Fireworks shows will be held as usual for Friday night home games and the stretch of games from July 3-5 will include even bigger fireworks shows in recognition of Independence Day.