02/16/04 — CBA wins eastern wrestling title

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CBA wins eastern wrestling title

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 16, 2004 2:00 PM

JACKSONVILLE -- Ask a Charles B. Aycock wrestler if veteran coach Kevin Smith is ever satisfied and none will answer in a positive manner. They quietly admit that Smith always expects perfection and a 100-percent effort each time a wrestler steps onto the mat in dual-team or individual tournament action.

But late Saturday afternoon, the Golden Falcons -- surprisingly -- found a way to satisfy Smith in the 2004 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern regional at White Oak. They placed 11 competitors among the top four in 14 weight classes and captured the school's first-ever regional title with a whopping 215.5 points.

"For a person who is rarely satisfied, I must admit that this was the most satisfying and rewarding accomplishment I have experienced as a coach," Smith said. "We wrestled the best we have ever wrestled as a team. We have some great individual performances over the years, but never have we performed this well as a team."

C.B. Aycock became just the third team in county history to win a regional championship. Rosewood ended a two-decade drought in 1997 when it took the Eastern 1-A/2-A crown. But Goldsboro set the county standard, winning its first regional title in 1963 and its last in 1977 for a total of five.

The Golden Falcons will take 11 of the area's 28 state qualifiers to Winston-Salem next weekend. Southern Wayne has seven, while Eastern Wayne and Rosewood will take four each.

Spring Creek and Greene Central each has one.

"We had an absolutely super week of practice," Smith said. "The kids set personal goals for this weekend last Monday and really took the goal-setting to heart. They were focused and practiced very hard all week.

"I firmly believe it was our practice habits last week that led to our strong showing this weekend."

John Robertson and Turner Wood each snagged a regional title at 171 and 189 pounds, respectively. Robertson upended county rival Stephen Witt 7-3, while Wood pinned another county rival, Reggie Faire, in 1 minute, 13 seconds.

Teammates Greg Coudriet, Blake Brockmeyer, Randy Meisenhelder, Tim Harrison and Lacadra Mitchell each finished second. Luan Tran, Ronald Lynn and heavyweight Dustin Gurley each bounced back in the consolation bracket to take third-place honors.

"We are going to sit down Monday (today), and set some team and individual goals for the upcoming week," Smith said. "The coaching staff will not let the kids be satisfied with just qualifying.

"We want to win matches at the state tournament, and the only way to do that is to continue to work hard in the room and maintain our focus."

While the dual-team campaign left a lot to be desired, the Eastern Wayne coaching staff also met its preseason goals. Head coach Mike Brown expected to carry four wrestlers to the state meet, and he wasn't disappointed when the final matches had been completed.

Senior Tyler Sasser remained county's lone unbeaten wrestler at 27-0 by winning the 160-pound class. Joey Burridge returned to the mat after a two-month absence and finished fourth at 130 pounds. Travis Turner grabbed third at 189, while David Brown settled for fourth at 171.

All four Warriors are first-time state qualifiers.

Southern Wayne is taking a record seven wrestlers to next weekend's two-day tournament, which begins Friday at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Senior heavyweight Paul Robinson gained revenge against top-seeded Jock Moore of Washington with an 8-2 decision in their title tilt. Moore pinned Robinson for the Eastern Carolina 3-A title on Jan. 31.

Thomas Mosshammer earned his second trip to the state finals with a second-place effort at 130 pounds. Jonathan McKinney qualified with a third-place performance in the 112-pound ranks.

Witt is going back for a second time along with fellow senior Mastafa Springston, who took third at 140 pounds. Faire, the 189 runner-up, is a first-time qualifier.

West Carteret finished second to Aycock in the team title hunt with 164.5 points. Southern Wayne was third, while Eastern Wayne grabbed fifth place. Five of the ECC's seven members ended up among the top 10.

1-A/2-A East

ELIZABETH CITY -- Wes Denham has now written his own chapter in the Spring Creek wrestling program's history book.

The junior finished third overall at 215 pounds and became the school's first-ever state qualifier. Denham, the No. 2 seed, pinned Northeastern's Dominic Jordan in 4 minutes, 29 seconds.

Denham also set the single-season record for victories with 31. The old record of 28 was set a year ago by Orlando Rodriguez.

Rosewood junior Ramsey Brown emerged the area's lone individual champion at the two-day 1-A/2-A east regional contested at Northeastern High School. Brown, the top seed at 103 pounds, dumped Northside's Rory Miller 16-0 in the finals.

Brown improved to 44-1 overall.

Fellow Eagles Aaron Lynch, Alan Corbett and Clayton Taylor each earned a spot in next weekend's state championships at Winston-Salem.

Lynch lost to Trask's Tray Dvorak 6-0 in the 152-pound final. Corbett surrendered a third-period pin and ended up second against SouthWest Edgecombe's Sammie Hadi, the region's top seed and the state's No. 1-ranked wrestler at 140 pounds.

Clayton stopped Southwest Onslow's Greg Jackson 11-6 in a battle for third place at heavyweight.

Greene Central junior Jimmy Edmonds snagged a state berth with a third-place showing at 189 pounds. Edmonds (18-4) pinned Swansboro's Malcolm Fedderman with five seconds remaining in the second period.

Rosewood, which qualified a wrestler in each weight class -- 14 total -- ended up fourth overall in the team title chase with 941Ú2 points. Greene Central tied for 18th, while Spring Creek ended up 20th.