High School Sports

Ravenscroft’s Calvin Atkeson, an ACC football recruit, adds wrestling title

Ravenscroft's Calvin Atkeson wrestles Charlotte Latin's Harrison Karp in the 287 pound weight class at the NCISAA State Wrestling Tournament in Cary, N.C. on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Atkeson won.
Ravenscroft's Calvin Atkeson wrestles Charlotte Latin's Harrison Karp in the 287 pound weight class at the NCISAA State Wrestling Tournament in Cary, N.C. on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Atkeson won. newsobserver.com

Evidently, Calvin Atkeson isn’t too bad at wrestling ether.

The Ravenscroft junior has garnered significant Division I attention for his play on the gridiron, including an offer from ACC program Virginia. On Saturday, he showed he can also get it done on the wrestling mat with his 3-1 decision over Charlotte Latin’s Harrison Karp in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 287 final.

It was a rematch of last year’s 285 final, which Karp won by a 2-1 decision.

“This feels pretty good,” Atkeson said. “Last year, I was going in expecting to win because I had beaten him pretty handily during the regular season, and I was humbled by that experience. This time I had a better mindset going into it.”

Atkeson and Karp had split their two regular-season meetings, both pulling out one-point wins. In Saturday’s title match, Atkeson struck first with a double-leg takedown with just under a minute remaining in the first period to break a scoreless tie.

Considering that points would be at a premium, Atkeson knew it was significant to get the upper hand early.

“Something just clicked, and I went for the double,” Atkeson said of the takedown. “Then I just had to hold him down the rest of the period after that so he didn’t get a point, after that I felt pretty good.”

Atkeson’s focus is on football, but he says he does allow himself enough time to work on his wrestling.

“Football is most important, but I did a couple of (wrestling) clubs last offseason,” Atkeson said. “I try to make sure I fit some wrestling in.”

Ravenscroft coach Garrett Cummings believed that Atkeson had a much better approach to this year’s title match compared to a year ago.

“He followed the game plan beautifully,” Cummings said. “He’s a straight-A student, so it was an academic win terms of following the game plan, get the one takedown in a heavyweight match and then manage it afterwards.”

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