Local wrestling teams gear up for conference tournament
by Erik Spencer Hill
With the 1A/2A Northwest Conference tournament a little over a week away, local teams are gearing up to finish the season on a high note.
The Wildcats’ young wrestling team has taken some lumps this season. But, Wildcats Coach Kris Kahila said that he is seeing a lot of “improvements” and that his wrestlers are learning from their mistakes.
Mount Airy’s wrestling team grabbed a 63-12 win on the road at West Stokes High School on Monday night.
The Wildcats had a promising start in their match against the Bears. Wildcat Holden Sands (138) got a win by decision and scored three for his team. But, despite this early success, the Wildcats struggled to rack up points for the rest of the evening.
Halfway through the match, the Wildcats hadn’t grabbed anymore points and lagged 27-3.
There were a few pleasant surprises late in the match, though, that helped the Wildcats put up some points.
George Patrick (113) pinned his Bear opponent just a minute into the match and grabbed six points for the team.
Jacob Widner (132) fought hard for a 12-11 win by decision and grabbed an extra three points to help the Wildcats end the game 63-12.
Kahila said that his young team is “improving” and he is seeing a lot of good technique on the mat.
“They’re coming along,” he said. “We’re getting better. I’m not discouraged.”
After their loss to the Bears, the Wildcats are now 2-3 in the conference this season and 7-12 overall.
South Stokes’ wrestling team has been on a roll this season. The team is tied with North Surry (28-2) with a perfect 3-0 record in the conference. This season, the Sauras have picked up conference wins against Surry Central (40-34), West Stokes (51-30) and North Stokes (54-18). The team is 17-13 overall.
The Sauras were set to face off against Bishop McGuinness and Patrick County last Friday night at South Stokes High School, but the tri-meet was cancelled due to the wintry weather that swept through the area earlier in the day.
This Friday, the Sauras will try to defend their perfect conference record against the Cardinals at East Surry High School. The Cards (12-11) already defeated the Sauras twice in tournaments this season.
The Vikings wrestling team has struggled to get off the ground this season. The team has yet to pick up a conference win this season and is 3-13 overall.
Last Thursday night, the Vikings squared off against the Cards at North Stokes High School, a day earlier than planned because of the threat of inclement weather on Friday.
The team started the night off with a forfeit at the 106-pound weight division. The Cards went on to win 11 of the 13 weights wrestled and came away with a 66-12 win on the road at North Stokes. East Surry won its 11 weight classes by pins.
Both of North Stokes’ seniors grabbed a win in their weight divisions. Viking Cody Bennett (16-6) pinned Colton Bruner (170) and Matt Chestnet (10-10) pinned Gage Edwards (160). Those were the only wins the Vikings were able to rack up for the day.
“We are struggling,” Vikings Coach Nick Brandes said. “Part of the reason that we are struggling though is because we are so young.”
But, despite their inexperience, Brandes said his team is getting better.
“All of our kids have progressed to a level this year that I’m really proud of,” he said. “If they stick with it, and they continue to put the work in, we will be something to deal with in the next few years.”
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