For the first time in the history of North Stokes wrestling program, the Vikings earned a win on the mat against rival West Stokes on Tuesday night in King. While only four matches were actually wrestled, Viking coach Matthew Wise maneuvered kids around in different weight classes and picked up the 45-36 victory.
“I’m really excited for the kids and our program to get the win,” Wise said. “I felt we were off our game a little with a delay in the start, but our kids were able to regroup and wrestle hard and get the wins we needed.”
Beginning at the 145lb weight class, Garrett Lowe picked up a forfeit for the Wildcats to lead 6-0. Noah Hall wrestled Dakota Taylor of the Vikings at 152lbs and won with a pin fall in 1:32 of the first period. He was up 5-1 when he finished Taylor off giving the home team a 12-0 advantage.
The Vikings cut into the Wildcats lead at 12-3 in the 160lb weight class when Mitchell Petree beat Phillip Lowman 11-7 in a decision. Over the next four weight classes, the Vikings picked up forfeitures for a 27-12 edge. Jacob Murray bumped to 170lbs, Adam Pollard and Dylan Mabe stayed at the respected weight classes, and Waylon Melton jumped two weight classes for a forfeit win at 220lbs.
In the heavyweight division, North Stokes senior leader Paden Lungrin (24-0), ranked no. 1 in the state at 220lb (1A), moved up and wrestled sophomore Avery Lawing. The sophomore fought hard, but was pinned by Lungrin with 30 seconds left in the first period. Lungrin is now five wins away from 100.
“It’s fun to watch Paden move up and compete against bigger kids,” Wise said. “He has been able to do that a few times this year and has to use his strength a little more to get the heavier wrestler down. It makes him better and tougher in the long run.”
With the Vikings up 33-12, they forfeited the 106lb division to Wildcat junior Carson Goins, who is 15-1 and ranked top five 2A in the state. Clayton Utt, who was scheduled to wrestle Goins, bumped up at 113 and for the win by forfeit to extend the Vikings advantage to 39-18.
West Stokes Isaac Church and the Lucas Utt wrestled the best match of the night. Both wrestlers gained the edge different times through three periods, but it was Church who earned the win. With Utt leading 14-10 with less than a minute left, Church worked the reversal and pinned him with 28 seconds left in the match.
“Isaac has grown so much since the beginning of the year,” said Wildcat coach Mitch Overton. “Earlier in the season he would have given up, but he has conditioned well by wrestling Carson and Noah in practice and that has made him better. Our whole team is better today than when we first started. We have a chance to have four state qualifiers on this team.”
West Stokes picked up two forfeit wins by Austin Francis (126lb) and Evan Wall (132lb), while Viking Levi Collins (138lb) picked up the last forfeit for the final score.
The Wildcats will travel to Atkins on Jan. 3 for their next match, while the Vikings (7-17) will host the East Surry Cardinals in Danbury.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.