Local wrestlers compete at NCHSAA state tourney
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 25, 2008 2:25 PM
WINSTON-SALEM -- Josh Robinson and Jarrett Covar each recorded a top-five finish, while Olivia Neal concluded her record-setting career in the N.C. High School Athletic Association individual wrestling championships this weekend.
A senior heavyweight from Southern Wayne, senior dropped his opening-round match Friday morning to Meko James, a senior from perennial power Parkland. However, Robinson recorded five consecutive victories in consolation-round action and emerged third overall.
Covar, a senior at Charles B. Aycock, marched into Saturday's semifinal round with back-to-back decisions in the 215-pound weight class. He lost to eventual state champion Christian McLean of Southwest Guilford, but worked his way back to a fifth-place showing.
"Jarrett peaked at the right time of the season," said Aycock coach Mark Bass. "He won a conference championship, a regional championship and placed one spot higher than last year. That's a strong finish to the season, considering he met the state champion who dominated his weight class."
Television cameramen, photographers and everyone else in attendance kept a watchful eye on Neal -- the first-ever female to qualify for the state meet. The senior 103-pounder from Rosewood didn't disappoint, either, with a first-round pin of Bandys' Ray Farnsworth, the state's No. 2-ranked wrestler in the Classes 1-A/2-A division.
Neal turned her final opponent, Cody DeCamp of South Davidson, on his back as time expired in her season-ending match. She logged a 2-2 ledger during the two-day event, and tied for seventh overall.
"Olivia is a winner by simply making it to this level," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson. "She made some believers this weekend and opened up opportunities for other female athletes. Olivia is a great ambassador for Wayne County and Rosewood High School."
The remaining 13 wrestlers who comprised the Wayne County contingent compiled a combined record of 7-26.
Eastern Wayne senior Chris Tesar lost his opening-round match at 125 pounds and eventually ended his career with a 201-11 record. Tesar won four conference titles, four regional titles and earned three top-four finishes on the state level.
Fellow Warriors Jordan Harris, Zach Hahn, Brandon Darby and Foy Coley each finished 0-2. Hahn, Darby and Coley lost to Parkland wrestlers in first-round action.
Aycock's Kevin Carmel and Khiry Reid, who re-aggravated a leg injury, each posted a 1-2 mark. Carmel notched a team-best 51 victories. Teammate Drake Gurley went 0-2 in his final tournament appearance.
"Drake and Kevin each had a phenomenal year," said Bass. "You hate to see the season end the way it did for Khiry. That three-week injury caused him to take a medical default in the state tournament."
Southern Wayne's Tristan Bass went 2-2, while teammate John Futrell claimed one win in the double-elimination tournament. Dustin Richards was 0-2 at 140 pounds.
Rosewood's Josh Holmes registered one win in three tries at 145 pounds on the 1-A/2-A scene. Heavyweight Trevor Morris made the trip, but did not participate due to a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee.
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