Last Saturday, the Saura wrestling team hosted the Rick Williams Duals Tournament at South Stokes High School. The team went 1-4 for the day and finished in ninth place among 12 teams competing. North Surry took the top spot for the day. Mount Airy rounded out the top five and North Stokes finished in last place.
Coach Tim Lawson said that it was not a good day for the Saura wrestling team.
“We had a few starters out due to injuries and sickness,” he said. “Our depth is lacking in some weight classes and it showed on Saturday.”
The Sauras’ only win of the day was against Wesleyan Academy (42-21) in the first round. After that, the team was handed some tough losses by Mount Airy (48-33), North Wilkes (47-36), East Surry (46-26) and North Forsyth (42-30).
But, despite the lumps, some individuals finished strong for the day. John Kevin Fischer (120), T.J. Whaley (160) and Christian Artis (182) went 5-0 for the day. Morgan Bagley (132) and Evan Scott (220) finished 4-1. Keegan Ross (145) and Corbin Tackett (195) went 3-2 last Saturday.
“I am proud of our guys and the effort they are giving,” Lawson said. “We just need a little more depth and consistency in some matches.”
The Sauras wrestled better days earlier on Jan. 3, in a matchup against Surry Central, where the team grabbed the final three wins to jump past the Eagles 40-34.
“Big win for our young team,” Coach Lawson said. “We wrestled really well.”
The Sauras led 18-6 early in the match, but the Eagles jumped ahead late in the match, grabbing a 34-24 lead.
However, in the final moments of the match, the Sauras grabbed a forfeit, fall and a major decision to chalk up an extra 16 points.
Saura Whaley pinned Zack Martin with just 14 seconds left in his matchup. Artis pinned Eagle Hunter White.
Ross won by decision 8-0 in the final matchup of the evening.
Coach Kris Kahila said that the Wildcat wrestling team got some more valuable time on the mat last weekend at the Dudley Invitational tournament in Greensboro.
Out of 13 teams from around northwestern North Carolina, West Stokes wrestled for a sixth, or seventh place finish — Kahila could not say conclusively because official results for the tournament were still not available.
Kahila said he would have liked his team to have won the tournament, but he knows his team is going to have to get better before it picks up more wins this season. Currently, the Wildcats are 7-10 in duals meets and 2-0 in the conference — with wins against North Stokes and Bishop McGuinness.
“I’m looking for improvement,” he said. “Winning will take care of itself. Of course we always want to win, but I’m trying to keep them tuned in on improvement.”
Despite, facing tougher competition from 4A schools in the Dudley Invitational, Kahila said that his wrestlers still managed to take home some top spots in the tourney.
Nick Wall lost two matches to finish in fifth place. Jacob Widener (132) got a third place finish in his weight division. Brian Whittington (120) lost his matchup in the semifinal round and placed third.
“I’m not discouraged at all,” Kahila said. “I’m encouraged. I see more and more progress.”