Johnston County

Neuse Charter wrestlers make school history

The Neuse Charter High School wrestling team made school history during the Carolina 1A Conference individual championship tournament. The team won nine medals, including two individual conference championships, a first for the 10-year-old charter school.

The tournament drew wrestlers from Neuse Charter, Tarboro, Manteo and Princeton.

Neuse Charter junior Luke Sullivan, at 145 pounds, and freshman Griffin Lloyd, 220 pounds, captured Neuse Charter’s first-ever individual conference championships. Other medalists were Elliott Sullivan, second at 113 pounds; Josh Cole, third at 126; Kevin Gomez second at 132; Alex Gonzales, second at 138; Isaiah Deck, second at 160; Jimmy Cuccurello, second at 182; and Daniel Yates, third at 195.

Gonzalez went on to capture fourth place in the state tournament.

“I am super proud of all our wrestlers this season,” said coach Chase Crocker, in his second season at the helm of the Neuse Charter team. “They have put in so many hours of hard work, and it shows on the mat with some of the success we have had. Making the playoffs and having conference champions are team goals each year, and for the first time in school history, we were able to do both.”

Coach Eric Brownlee saw the many medals as a measure of the program’s progress. “Very proud of all our kids,” he said, “but especially of our two champions Luke, and Griffin. Griffin pinned his way through the finals to become our first freshman to ever win a tournament and a conference championship. The team’s second-place finish behind the defending state champion team speaks volumes about where coach Crocker and these kids are taking the program.”

The team finished the year with a record of 23-12.