Three familiar names will be going for N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team wrestling championships on Saturday at the Greensboro Fieldhouse.
Cary (4A), Orange (3A) and Rosewood (1A) are powerhouse programs and will represent their respective classes once again. The 3A and 1A matches are at noon, and the 4A and 2A ones are at 3 p.m.
It’ll be hard to top last year’s excitement, when all four championships came down to the last bout. But no one knows for sure what the atmosphere will be like. This is the first year the dual-team title matches will be held at one neutral site and not in the home gym of the two finalists.
Back to the glory days: Cary (20-0) is making its 16th appearance in the 4A title match and is 8-7 in championship bouts. But this year’s team is making its first trip back since 2010. The Imps face two-time defending state champion West Forsyth (25-9).
Head coach Anthony Dunbar, a Cary alumnus, said it meant the world to him to get the program back to the 4A final.
“I have so much pride in this school and this program,” Dunbar said. “This is for all the alumni and all the guys who have come through. These guys have worked their tails off all year hard and they’ve earned it. Now we’re just looking forward to Saturday.”
Rematches for two: Two of Saturday’s matches are replays of last year.
Orange (22-0) will once again face Unionville’s Piedmont High (36-1) and Rosewood (51-3) faces Robbinsville (32-4) for the second straight year. Piedmont won last year’s 3A title, which it hosted, 29-27, while Robbinsville also won on its home mat, 36-31.
Rosewood, 1-2 all-time in state championship matches, is making its third straight trip to the final and won the 2016 title. Orange is 5-4.
Title times, East final results: 1A – Rosewood (51-3) vs. Robbinsville (32-4), noon; 3A – Orange (22-0) vs. Piedmont (36-1), noon; 2A – Croatan (13-2) vs. West Lincoln (25-4), 3 p.m.; 4A – Cary (20-0) vs. West Forsyth (25-9), 3 p.m.
1A East – Rosewood def. Uwharrie Charter 39-36; 2A East – Croatan def. Wheatmore 36-28; 3A East – Orange def. West Brunswick 43-31; 4A East – Cary def. Purnell Swett 37-31.