The Holly Springs wrestling team dominated Apex 75-2 Wednesday to wrap up an unbeaten Southwest Wake Athletic Conference title, but the one-sided match completed in a mere 70 minutes wasn’t without drama.
Apex senior Chance Davis, among the state-meet favorites at 132 pounds, opted to move up a weight class to test himself against Holly Springs junior Cam Devers, among state-meet favorites at 138.
Davis jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first period and held on for a 6-4 win. Devers nearly turned Davis for a two-point takedown in the final seconds that would have forced overtime.
“I wanted to make sure I got in a real good match before regionals,” said Davis, a state-meet runner-up a year ago. “You’ve got to wrestle against the best you can find and Cam is definitely one of the best. I was just hanging onto his legs at the end the best I could to not give up the two. He’s strong; a real good wrestler.”
The 138-pound decision gave Apex three team points, but a team point was later deducted to account for the unusual final score. Apex’s heavyweight didn’t shake hands with Holly Springs heavyweight C.J. Toogood, who pinned his opponent in 2 minutes, 15 seconds.
In all, Holly Springs (24-0, 7-0) recorded pins in 11 of the 14matches and one technical fall.
Holly Springs doubles up in postseason
The Golden Hawks have realistic postseason goals in team and individual competition. The 16-team dual bracket begins Tuesday and is followed by the individual regional and state tournaments.
“All of our guys are firing on all cylinders,” Holly Springs coach Nick Nosbisch said. “I liked how we were aggressive and put people away when we needed to. That’s going to be huge. We want bonus points.”
Individually, Devers is ranked No. 2 in the state at 138 pounds and Toogood No. 2 at heavyweight. Travian Cooke at 170 and Josh Richardson at 182 also have held rankings in the top five this year.
In addition to Toogood’s pin, Cooke recorded a pin in 2:52 and Richardson a technical fall by a 16-1 score.
The other Golden Hawks with pins: Danny Myers (106), 3:29; Hunter Morton (113), 3:36; Aaron Flaherty (120), 3:28; Caleb Benton (132), 2:37; Ben Horvick (145), 2:14; Nick Connochie (152), 1:28; Elijah Geniesse (160), 1:28; Matt Lusher (195), 1:08; and Shane Newman (220), :31.
Apex still building
Apex (5-10, 1-6) is sidelined for the state dual meet competition, but second-year coach Michael New plans to have his team scrimmage to gain experience as part of his rebuilding program. He has built numbers from 10 to 50-plus in his two seasons.
“We’re getting bodies out now, but it takes time,” he said. “There is great talent in this conference and that’s what wrestling should be about.”
In the individual regional and state tournaments, Davis is Apex’s only wrestler with a realistic chance at a state-meet medal.