North and South Stokes sent a combined 15 wrestlers to the NCHSAA 1A East Regional at South Davidson High School, while West Stokes had seven wrestlers to participate at the 2A Midwest Regional at Mount Pleasant. North Stokes Paden Lungrin, along with South Stokes Jackson Boles and Steven Fatz won first place and secured their spots at the state championship in Greensboro on Feb. 15, 16 and 17.
The Sauras were well represented in nine different weight classes and will be sending five wrestlers to the state meet. Boles (33-4) pinned Uwharrie Charter’s Nick Menjivar (40-7) in the second period to win his first regional title at 145lbs. Fatz (33-7), who claimed fourth last year and ended up fifth in the state, won his championship match over Uwharrie Charter’s Branson Lambert (28-4) in the third period by pin fall in the 160lb weight class. South had three other wrestlers qualify for the state championships by finishing in the top four: Ricky Gonzales (138lbs), Kaleb Mitchell (152lbs), Cooper Ross (170lbs).
“I’m real proud of our guys,” said Saura coach Chad Amos. “They all wrestled well over the last two days. They have worked extremely hard to get where they are. We just needed to add a few more kids and we could fill our roster and be more competitive during the team matches. I’m excited for everyone and the good news is they will all be back next year.”
Lungrin, with the Vikings, ran his record to 33-0 with four wins on Friday and Saturday and qualified for his fourth state championship. He beat West Montgomery’s Nicholas King by pin fall in the second period to win his first regional title. He will enter Greensboro as the number one seed. North’s Lucas Utt (120lbs) and Levi Collins (132lbs) were one win away from making states.
“We would have liked to have gotten Levi and Lucas into states, but we are excited for Paden,” said Viking coach Matthew Wise. “Paden has been such a leader and inspiration to our younger kids. To my knowledge he is the only wrestler at North to qualify for states all four years. I can’t wait to watch him wrestle next weekend.”
Uwharrie Charter won the team event with 217.5 points with South Stokes (112.5) coming in third and North Stokes (55.5) ninth out of 26 teams.
West Stokes Carson Goins (27-2) was the only state qualifier for the Wildcats. He lost a 7-0 decision in the championship match to Central Academy’s Hunter Ross (40-2). He beat his first two opponents by pin falls and won a 4-0 decision over Victor Lamberth (40-7) of West Montgomery in the 106lb semi-finals. Noah Hall (24-7) and Evan Wall (29-7) completed their season one match shy of getting to states.
“We are very proud of all our guys,” Wildcat coach Mitch Overton said. “They have worked extremely hard. I’m very proud of Carson and can’t wait to watch him wrestle this weekend.”
Bunker Hill won the regional with 198 points. The Wildcats finished 15th with 44 points.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.