02/04/05 — Rosewood grapplers finish out strong

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Rosewood grapplers finish out strong

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 4, 2005 1:55 PM

BEAR CREEK - The Rosewood High wrestling team stepped up to the challenge and nearly delivered a huge knockout blow Tuesday evening in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A dual-team playoffs.

The Eagles upended West Davidson 42-39, but stumbled against host Chatham Central 41-35. Rosewood concluded its season 22-8 after winning its sixth consecutive Carolina/Tar-Roanoke Athletic Conference championship.

"I was so proud of how well our wrestlers performed," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson. "We went straight at West with our lineup and got some big wins."

Rosewood fell behind 21-6 after five contested matches against the Dragons, the Yadkin Valley Conference runners-up. But 215-pounder Clayton Taylor started a 24-0 surge with a third-period pin against Travis Causey, and the Eagles never slowed down.

Heavyweight Michael Sander, Jim Bish (103 pounds) and Ramsey Brown (112) followed with consecutive pins. West Davidson prevailed at 119 before the Eagles secured their first-round victory on back-to-back pins by Dustin Sittig (125) and Matt Davis (130).

"We shuffled our lineup against Chatham Central and asked five wrestlers to bump up a weight class," Edmundson said. "The strategy almost worked."

Chatham Central, the Yadkin Valley champion, rolled to a 24-0 lead on four consecutive pins.

Like they did against West Davidson, the Eagles answered with a huge momentum-swinging run. Antar Shafer scored an overtime decision against Aaron Brown at 189 pounds. The Bears forfeited at 215 and Sander notched an overtime decision against Quincy Harris.

Down 24-12, Bish kept the momentum with a technical fall and Brown pinned Casey Foushee in the first period. Tyler Daniels put the Eagles ahead 29-24 with a second-period pin against Chris Hutchenson.

Chatham Central collected 11 points in the next two matches and Rosewood's Davis showed his leadership with a match-tying, first-period pin. The teams were tied at 35-35 heading into evening's final bout.

"To be in a position to win is a pretty good place to be in my opinion," Edmundson said. "Our guys gave all they had against the best 1-A team in the state.

"I asked them to step up to the challenge amd move around for what I felt was the best scenario for the team."

The Bears dashed the Eagles' hopes with a pin at 145.

Rosewood has wrestled either one or two Yadkin Valley Conference teams each of the past three seasons in the playoffs. They lost to South Davidson in the 2002 and 2003 eastern regional finals, and fell to West Davidson in the opening round a year ago.

"We felt our match with Chatham Central should have been for the eastern finals," Edmundson said. "Since the (dual-team) tournament is not set up on records, we meet this conference every year in the first round.

"Every year the team that wins out of this opening-round group (eventually) wrestles for the state championship."

Chatham Central (24-6) eliminated Spring Creek, a first-time participant, in the opening round. The Bears oppose Topsail for the eastern regional title Saturday. The winner faces either Surry Central or East Surry for the state championship Saturday.