Holly Springs returns four state qualifiers from its lineup from last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A dual-team wrestling runner-up team. The Golden Hawks went 40-5 after falling to West Forsyth in the championship match.
Teams to watch
Athens Drive:The Jaguars will have three wrestlers to watch in senior Faris Busisou, senior Yousef Aitboulahri and junior Deshawn Jones.
Carrboro (17-8): The Jaguars advanced to the 2A East dual-team final and return two fifth-place wrestlers in David Veltri (126) and Maxim Gaut (170). Monnet Victor (106) and Otto Wolin (120) were also state qualifiers.
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Cary (22-7): The Imps were fourth at the 4A state tournament and return four state qualifiers: Delante Robinson (138), Nate Kinsey (152), Joe Grena (182) and Nico Childs (195).
Holly Springs (40-5): Josh Lehr’s only two losses last year at 113 pounds weren’t settled on the mat. He suffered a concussion in the semifinals of the 4A state tournament and the other wrestler was disqualified. Lehr wasn’t able to wrestle the state title match. Hunter Morton, Jake Maroney and Zion Cooke are all back.
Orange (25-3): The Panthers ended the year ranked No. 1 in The N&O area and bring back five state qualifiers, led by junior Payton Wilson. Wilson was the 3A runner-up at 220 pounds. Bailey Hawkins, Hakeem Jones, Josiah Ramirez and Jamar Davis will give Orange a strong lineup.
Union Pines (11-7): The Vikings were second in the 3A Mideast tournament and return state runner-up Antonio Menozi (120) and sixth-place finisher Daniel Hull (126). Mason Bennett, Adam Hoover and Christopher Kelly give Union Pines five returning state qualifiers.
Rosewood (42-6): The 1A state dual-team champions are led by returning champ Timothy Decatur-Luker (106), runner-up Jordan Todd (126), fourth-place Jayden Thomas (138)
Wrestlers to watch
Calvin Atkeson, junior, Ravenscroft: Runner-up in NCISAA heavyweight division.
Josh Arrington, senior, Fuquay-Varina: Was fourth in 4A at 170 pounds.
Anthony Brito, senior, Heritage: Became the school’s first champ in the sport, claiming the 4A 132-pound title.
Kyle Coward, senior, Voyager Academy: Was runner-up in 1A at 132 pounds.
Sander Cypher, senior, Wake Forest: Was fourth in the 4A at 160 pounds for the 19-5 Cougars.
Nick Daggett, senior, Chatham Central: Won his second straight 1A championship, going undefeated at 113 pounds.
Jaden Davis, senior, Riverside: (29-7): Was fifth in 4A at 195 pounds for the 29-7 Pirates.
Chapman Fitzgerald, junior, Cary Academy: Runner-up in NCISAA 126 pounds.
Logan Maher, junior, Fuquay-Varina: Was the Triangle’s top 106-pound wrestler, winning the regional title.
Frankie Miller, senior, Corinth Holders: Fifth among 3A heavyweights.
Dan Mills, senior, Leesville Road: Was sixth in 4A at 126 pounds for the 35-5 Pride.
Hunter Queen, senior, Northwood: The North Carolina recruit was runner-up at 160 pounds in 3A for the 26-4 Chargers.
Christian Sodano, sophomore, Cary Academy: Won the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 120-pound title.
Wilson Smith, senior, Rocky Mount: Won the 3A title at 126 pounds.
Cade Spector, sophomore, Cary Academy: Runner-up in NCISAA 113 pounds.
Julian Sodano, junior, Cary Academy: Runner-up in NCISAA 145 pounds.
Bryce Talley, senior, South Granville: Finished fifth place in 2A, leading returner for 23-4 Vikings.
Ronald Whitt, senior, Voyager Academy: Third in 1A at 120 pounds.
Preseason top 25
2. Holly Springs
6. Leesville Road
9. Farmville Central
11. Wake Forest
12. Union Pines
15. Panther Creek
18. Northern Durham
19. South Granville
20. Western Harnett
21. Chapel Hill
24. C.B. Aycock
25. Green Hope