01/06/06 — Layoff doesn't affect Rosewood grapplers

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Layoff doesn't affect Rosewood grapplers

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 6, 2006 2:17 PM

A two-week layoff didn't seem to affect Rosewood High's wrestling team.

Eager to return to the mats in live action, the Eagles opened defense of their Class 1-A Carolina/Tar-Roanoke Athletic Conference championship with a resounding 78-6 victory over county rival Spring Creek.

Rosewood prevailed in nine of 10 contested individual matches and recorded first- or second-period falls in eight bouts. The short-handed Gators yielded four forfeits.

"I thought we were sharp tonight ... kind of impressed," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson, whose team has won five consecutive C/T-RC regular-season and tournament titles. "It was good to give the boys a little bit of a break because it's real easy to get burned out in this sport.

"Now, it's time to put your nose to the grindstone -- get ready for dual teams and the state (individual) championships."

A dual-team playoff qualifier last season, Spring Creek (2-4) showed its youth on the mats. The Gators hesitated on takedown shots and struggled on their backs when the Eagles locked in numerous pin combinations.

"We've got a lot of work to do," said Spring Creek coach Dwight Glenn. "Our guys second guessed a lot on takedown shots and that got them in trouble. You can't pause on the shot, you have to go through.

"Rosewood was a lot more aggressive than we were, so we have to get more aggressive."

Byron Cavenaugh established early momentum with a second-period fall against the Gators' Paul Richter. Richter owned a 6-4 lead before Cavenaugh turned him and earned the pin at 3 minutes, 58 seconds in their 145-pound bout.

Andrew Sass followed with a first-period fall against Paul Haynes at 152. After a forfeit, Chris Holmes (171 pounds) and David Smeltzer (189) posted falls against Daquan Wright and Ross Montafia, respectively.

Wes Denham, a two-time state qualifier, emerged the Gators' lone individual winner with a 31-second fall against Brandon Dean at 215 pounds.

"Wes is always a bright spot," said Glenn.

Rosewood heavyweight Trevor Morris won by disqualification against Dwight Strickland, who drew four technical violations for illegally locking hands. The victory started a match-ending 48-0 run for the Eagles, who kept Spring Creek winless (0-3) against county teams this season.

Gabe Castro picked up a forfeit at 103 pounds and sophomore Olivia Neal clinched the overall outcome with a 14-second fall at 112 pounds. Neal recorded her school-record fourth fall of the season and remained unbeaten in five dual-team outings.

Jim Bish, a two-year starter, grabbed a forfeit at 119. Josh Holmes collected a forfeit at 125. Chris Hare, Anthony Gibson and senior captain Matt Davis each notched a first-period fall.

"Our young guys stepped up," said Edmundson. "In our conference, a lot of the guys are young. Our young guys are where they need to be against other young guys.

"When it's against experience, it can be a little bit different. That's what has hurt us some this season."

Rosewood (8-3) returns to action today in a five-team dual meet at South Central. The Eagles will compete against county rival Eastern Wayne, South Central, North Pitt and East Carteret.

Spring Creek heads toward the coast Saturday for a dual-team meet at North Brunswick.

"We're going to get better and we're going to make some ground," said Glenn.