01/15/07 — Rosewood grapplers are champs again

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Rosewood grapplers are champs again

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 15, 2007 2:21 PM

LOUISBURG -- A perfect 10 -- plus one.

Rosewood needed a mere 24 hours to wrap up its 11th consecutive regular-season league championship during a two-day, Class 1-A Carolina/Tar-Roanoke/Albemarle/Mid-State Conference dual tournament contested at Louisburg High School.

The Eagles fashioned a perfect 6-0 record and seized the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, which begin Feb. 6. Rosewood exited 20-6 overall, giving it five straight 20-win seasons and 10 overall in the program's 15-year history.

"We checked off a major goal this weekend," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "It's fantastic to see our conference getting better and forces us to stay on our toes if we're going to keep our conference-champion record alive."

A seven-member league that spans 280 miles from Manteo to the west side of Durham posed numerous concerns. Travel time and missed classes ranked Nos. 1 and 2, and prompted coaches to schedule the two-day affair at a central location.

Rosewood, Spring Creek, Princeton, Louisburg and North Johnston each wrestled a couple of matches Friday evening. Manteo and newcomer N.C. School of Science and Math joined the fray Saturday.

When the last individual match concluded, the Eagles possessed the lone, unblemished conference record. Rosewood defeated Spring Creek (64-15), Princeton (54-19), NCSSM (64-12), Manteo (70-6), North Johnston (52-21) and Louisburg (54-27).

Louisburg (16-12) clinched the league's No. 2 berth for the dual-team playoffs.

"In my opinion, Louisburg, North Johnston and Princeton have the potential to grow into powerhouse wrestling programs," said Edmundson. "Their coaches and athletes are excited, and their fans are very supportive and vocal."

Five Eagle grapplers concluded the exhaustive day unbeaten. J.P. Person, J.D. Baker and Chris Hare each posted six wins. Jim Bish fashioned a 5-0 worksheet, while Olivia Neal turned in a 4-0 worksheet. Bish and Baker each have 38 individual victories, while Hare has 37.

Freshman Vontarius Kornegay and the Holmes brothers -- Chris and Josh -- endured just one loss apiece. Ariel Nacca, Scott Pate, Richie Pelt, Anthony Wentt, Byron Cavenaugh, Jordan Owens, Andrew Sass, T.J. Sprinkle, Brandon Dean and heavyweight Trevor Morris also contributed to Rosewood's conference-title run.

"We are finally where we need to be with weights and positions," said Edmundson. "Our guys seemed focused and set on defending our long-running title. The next few weeks are going to be critical in solidifying the middle of our lineup.

"If we are going to be competitive in the state duals, we have to be solid top to bottom."

Rosewood returns to action next Saturday in the Thomas Cowles Firebird Duals at Southern Nash.