12/03/07 — Golden Falcon grapplers take Pierce-Davis crown

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Golden Falcon grapplers take Pierce-Davis crown

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on December 3, 2007 3:28 PM

PINETOPS -- Three Wayne County teams combined to claim 20 individual medals, the overall team title and the Most Outstanding Wrestler award during the 16th installment of the Pierce-Davis Memorial Tournament contested Saturday.

Charles B. Aycock emerged victorious in three individual weight classes and captured eight medals total as it successfully defended its invitational crown. The Golden Falcons compiled 173 points in the 13-team event, followed by Class 3-A brethren Jacksonville White Oak (150.5 points) and South Central (135).

Eastern Wayne, which ended up fourth, and sixth-place finisher Rosewood each seized six individual medals. It was the Warriors' third-top five performance of the season in tournament competition, and Rosewood's third appearance among the top 10 in three tourneys.

The Eagles' Chris Hare, a four-year starter and senior, emerged the MOW with a spotless performance at 130 pounds. Fully recovered from a knee injury during football season, Hare pinned two foes and notched two decisions.

"Chris is working very hard to overcome a severe injury and he has more heart than any student-athlete that I've been around in a long time," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "I was happy for Chris that other coaches saw how hard he worked and nominated him (for MOW)."

The Golden Falcons received first-place efforts from 119-pounder Drake Gurley, 215-pounder Jarrett Covar and heavyweight Khiry Reid. Covar avenged an earlier loss to Eastern Wayne senior Foy Coley in the Falcon Invitational.

Nick Bentley rebounded from an opening-round loss to eventual 103-pound champion Landon Lucas and took third. He pinned White Oak's Ryan Hedgecorth in 37 seconds in their title match. Kevin Carmel (140 pounds) worked his way through the consolation bracket and grabbed third with a third-period fall against Tarboro's William Del Carmon.

Brandon Bailey (130 pounds) edged North Pitt's Keyvin Dixon 4-2 for third place. Teammates Justin Farrell (112) and Josh Grimes (171) each settled for fourth place. Grimes lost to Eastern Wayne's Brandon Darby in the consolation finals.

Warriors senior Chris Tesar improved to 12-0 with an impressive run through the 125-pound weight class. He pinned Rocky Mount's Chandler Phillips and Southern Nash's Matt Swanson, but worked a little harder to defeat Rosewood's J.D. Baker.

Baker forced Tesar to wrestle a six-minute match before falling 10-3.

"I think J.D. is beginning to figure out Chris' style," said Edmundson. "As they keep meeting, the matches get closer. Who knows what might happen on the next match."

A.J. Washington pinned every opponent on the way to the 135-pound gold medal. None of the matches lasted more than one period.

Drew Tesar (112), Jordan Harris (119) and heavyweight Foy Coley finished among the top three in their respective divisions. Tesar avenged a first-round loss to Aycock's Farrell with a 9-7 victory in their consolation final encounter.

Rosewood's Olivia Neal received much attention throughout the day-long event at SouthWest Edgecombe. Neal posted three consecutive first-period pins on the way to her first-ever appearance in a Pierce-Davis championship match.

SouthWest's Lucas stopped Neal's historical run with a 30-second pin.

"She got caught in a throw," said Edmundson. "(But) she wrestled extremely well today. Hopefully, they will meet again soon."

The Eagles also got top-four results from Andrew Sass (160), Brandon Dean (215) and heavyweight Trevor Morris. Sass and Dean wound up third and fourth, respectively. Morris lost to Aycock's Reid in the first round, but concluded the day on a positive note with a 4-3 decision over South Central's Kentrell Jackson in the consolation finals.

"Trevor has started wrestling to his potential and really stepped it up this week," said Edmundson.

All three teams return to action Saturday in the 12th annual Eagle Invitational, hosted by Rosewood. First-round matches begin at 9:15 a.m.