Two local wrestlers will be heading to the state individuals championship, which starts today at the Greensboro Coliseum.
South Stokes’ T.J. Whaley (47-13) will wrestle in the 160-pound weight division.
West Stokes’ George Patrick (23-8) will wrestle in the 113-pound weight division.
Wildcats Coach Kris Kahila said that Patrick, a first year wrestler, has responded “unbelievably well” to the techniques he has taught him this season. Kahila described Patrick as being a “natural” in wrestling.
“I’m excited for George going to states,” Kahila said. “He’s pretty impressive.”
Patrick got his ticket to the state championship in his final matchup in the regional tournament last week at Piedmont High School. In an overtime period, Patrick scored a takedown, which allowed him to sneak by for the win by one point.
“It was a pretty exciting match,” Kahila said.
The Wildcats had three wrestlers that almost made it to the state championship. Brian Whittington, Holden Sands and Jacob Widner were all one match away from making it to state.
Sauras Coach Tim Lawson said he thought that five or six wrestlers might make it to the state championship this year, but most of his wrestlers had a “tough day.”
“We didn’t perform well,” he said.
The success story of the day was Whaley, who grabbed a fourth place spot and ensured his trip to the state championship.
“I’m proud of him,” Lawson said. “He did what he had to do to get there.”
Once of the big upsets of the day was when South Stokes’ conference champ Evan Scott (220) narrowly missed fourth place and was denied his bid for the state championship.
“He just didn’t have a good regional tournament,” Lawson said.
Patrick will be in the 2A competition starting Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. and Whaley will be in the 1A competition starting Friday at 2 p.m.