Once again, it appears the only thing standing between the Orange wrestling team and the Big 8 Conference Championship is Chapel Hill.
Last season, Orange’s dual match with Northwood in Pittsboro came down to the final individual bout, where sophomore Jamar Davis earned a major decision victory. Orange, which trailed going 36-34 before Davis’ match at 170 pounds, claimed its 14th consecutive conference championship six weeks later.
There was no drama at all on Wednesday night.
Orange (14-0, 2-0) defeated the Chargers 69-9 at Jim King Gymnasium. The Chargers have been so ravaged by injuries, only four matches were contested. The other ten were forfeit wins for the Panthers.
The most competitive match of the night came at 145 pounds, where Orange’s Avery Jenkins defeated Carson Amy 7-2. Jenkins gained a measure of revenge. On Dec. 1, Amy defeated Jenkins 6-0 at the Jim King/Orange Invitational. Jenkins is now 12-3 on the season.
“Every year is different,” said Orange coach Bobby Shriner. “We just try to work hard, do what’s right, try to train these guys up to be great young men. Just work hard, keep them accountable and hope for the best. You’re not promised anything any year. That’s our philosophy.”
Northwood’s Hunter Queen, who finished second in the state at 182 in 2015, remained undefeated by pinning Orange’s Brandon Homsey in 1:20.
Davis, now wrestling at 195, pinned Wesley Roberson in 2:29. Davis, now 14-2 on the season, also led the Orange soccer team with 20 goals during the fall.
The final match of the night featured Northwood’s Carter Stallings winning a 9-6 decision over Orange’s Luke Riley at 132 pounds. Riley wrestled in place of starter Bailey Hawkins, who is suffering from a ingrown hair on his right leg.