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Firebirds claim 2 Big East wrestling titles

Fike leads way with 4 championships

Posted on May 29, 2021

SportsSchool Sports
Vincent Page of Fike attempts to work Southern Nash's Noah Cauble into a pinning predicament during their 160-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament Friday. Page posted a 2-0 mark to win the weight class.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Vincent Page of Fike attempts to work Southern Nash's Noah Cauble into a pinning predicament during their 160-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament Friday. Page posted a 2-0 mark to win the weight class.

Jadel Davis of Southern Nash attempts to control Zametrie Bagley of Fike during their 182-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference tournament Friday. Davis won both of his matches to place first in the division.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Jadel Davis of Southern Nash attempts to control Zametrie Bagley of Fike during their 182-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference tournament Friday. Davis won both of his matches to place first in the division.

Hunt's Tryston Myers embraces Southern Nash's Trodrayl Newsome after their match in the 220-pound division Friday at the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament. Myers went 3-0 to win the weight class.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Hunt's Tryston Myers embraces Southern Nash's Trodrayl Newsome after their match in the 220-pound division Friday at the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament. Myers went 3-0 to win the weight class.

Vincent Page of Fike attempts to work Southern Nash's Noah Cauble into a pinning predicament during their 160-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament Friday. Page posted a 2-0 mark to win the weight class.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Vincent Page of Fike attempts to work Southern Nash's Noah Cauble into a pinning predicament during their 160-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament Friday. Page posted a 2-0 mark to win the weight class.

Jadel Davis of Southern Nash attempts to control Zametrie Bagley of Fike during their 182-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference tournament Friday. Davis won both of his matches to place first in the division.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Jadel Davis of Southern Nash attempts to control Zametrie Bagley of Fike during their 182-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference tournament Friday. Davis won both of his matches to place first in the division.

Jadel Davis of Southern Nash attempts to control Zametrie Bagley of Fike during their 182-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference tournament Friday. Davis won both of his matches to place first in the division.
Hunt's Tryston Myers embraces Southern Nash's Trodrayl Newsome after their match in the 220-pound division Friday at the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament. Myers went 3-0 to win the weight class.
Vincent Page of Fike attempts to work Southern Nash's Noah Cauble into a pinning predicament during their 160-pound match in the 3-A Big East Conference individual tournament Friday. Page posted a 2-0 mark to win the weight class.

jlewis@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7807 | Twitter: @JimmyLewisWT

A season-long diet of tri-matches for 3-A Big East Conference wrestling programs was granted a temporary reprieve Friday afternoon with the league’s individual championships contested inside the Southern Nash gym.

Among the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s modifications for a 2020-21 athletic calendar challenged by COVID-19 was limiting matches to just three teams, with the exception of individual tournaments.

Except for Rocky Mount, which isn’t fielding a team this season, that scene played out Friday with Fike High notching four weight-class championships. Host Southern Nash secured two titles and Hunt, in the midst of rebuilding its program, walked away with the 220-pound crown courtesy of Tryston Myers.

“It feels good just to get everybody together,” Fike head coach Bradley Watson said. “It feels like we’re getting some progress working toward the end of the year, which is the final goal. A lot of good things tonight, and overall, it went very well.”

Anchored by a pair of state-championship contenders in seniors Vincent Page and Jayleen Bullock, the Golden Demons added a 126-pound championship from junior Andrew Woodard as well as senior Patrick McCullen at 152.

Each weight class was conducted in round-robin format.

Bullock remained unbeaten through 14 matches, pinning all three of his opponents within the first period.

“I don’t think it was my best, but it definitely was not my worst,” Bullock said of his performance. “I feel like I did pretty good in the finals. The other matches were all longer than a minute, so I could have improved on that part.”

The goal of a state championship is something that’s continued to elude Bullock in his career. While 2021 represents his best — and last — opportunity at a title, it can be derailed with one misstep, or failing to make weight at the proper time.

“Practicing every day and making weight,” Bullock said, “All of that comes with being a state champion. You’ve got to have great discipline. There’s no shortcuts in wrestling. You either go all the way there, or you just fell short. You’ve got to put in 100% to get 100% of results.”

As for Page at 160, he climbed to 14-0 and required just 93 seconds of mat time to do so.

“I didn’t really have that much competition tonight, but I think I wrestled solid,” Page said. “Just preparing for better competition. I feel like in our wrestling room is where we have the most competition.”

Page’s trial by fire includes Bullock, but has also been forged by a name on a very small list of Wilson County state championship wrestlers — Aaron Bancroft, who mentored Page. Now the latter pays it forward.

“Now that I’m a senior, I have to kind of help and grow and mentor all the other guys,” Page said. “I have to push myself wrestling against these guys.”

At 220, Myers gained a measure of revenge in his weight class when he pinned Southern Nash senior Trondrayl Newsome before the close of the first period.

“Last year, the same kind of thing happened,” Myers said. “We were all wrestling for first place, and I messed up a move and he pinned me. So I’ve had that vengeance on my back. I’m glad I came and did my thing.”

Ayden Cox (120),  Jayden Richardson (138) and James Harrison (195) added second-place finishes for Hunt. The Warriors would have been further bolstered by senior Aundrey Loftin, but he failed to make weight at 182 in a three-man division won by Southern Nash senior Jadel Davis.

“That’s really good for the foundation of our program going forward,” Hunt head coach Ronnie Sutton said. “These guys started as freshmen with me in my first full year, and now two years later, they’re starting to come together and wrestle the way that we want to wrestle and perform how we always intended them to perform. The foundation is set, and it’s about adding to that foundation.”

In the heavyweight division, Southern Nash’s Terrence Raspberry had the most exhaustive path to a championship. Raspberry dispatched four opponents in his weight class, including a 6-0 decision over Fike’s DeSaun Avent in what amounted to the championship bout.

“We started super slow today,” Southern Nash head coach Eddie Coble said. “For whatever reason, I think we were still asleep. But we started slow, finished strong. We didn’t give out a team championship, didn’t call out team scores because it didn’t really matter. But for what it’s worth, we did finish in second place behind Fike, which is a great showing. I thought we wrestled well today.”

Raspberry (13-1) checked into the heavyweight proceedings at just 230 pounds. Davis, at 182, outpointed Fike’s Zametrie Bagley 8-2 in that de-facto championship encounter.

“Every match he goes in, he’s giving up 30, 40, 50 pounds every single match,” Coble said. “But he’s so strong, and playing football, he has that leverage and he can just move so well.”

Part of the NCHSAA’s wrestling modifications for COVID will involve elimination of the dual-team championship for 2021 as well as “wrestlebacks” in regional and state tournament competition. There will be four campus sites for state championships this season instead of Greensboro Coliseum, with the 3-A tournament set for Eastern Guilford High in Gibsonville.

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