11/21/08 — C.B. Aycock grapplers face challenge of defending title

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C.B. Aycock grapplers face challenge of defending title

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 21, 2008 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- It's a season of change for the Charles B. Aycock wrestling team.

The Golden Falcons must adjust with eight new faces in the lineup. Add the loss of two starters who didn't return and head coach Mark Bass is definitely facing a rebuilding year at the perennial Class 3-A powerhouse.

The eight-time defending champion, C.B. Aycock will be hard-pressed to win its ninth Falcon Invitational title on Saturday. Opening-round matches begin at 9 a.m. and admission is $5.

"It's going to be tough," said Golden Falcons head coach Mark Bass.

C.B. Aycock graduated eight seniors and had two more starters not return this season. Bass put 10 new faces on the mat in a season-opening dual-team loss to Greene Central on Wednesday evening.

"I want to see us improve, fight off our back (and) we need to give these young guys more mat time," said Bass of this weekend's strategy. "When you're putting several first-year guys on the mat, it's about working on the small things.

"There is some potential, it's just very young potential."

Back for the Golden Falcons are Paris Statton (152 pounds), Brian Diorio (215), Justin Ferrell (119) and Brandon Bailey (135). Statton, Ferrell and Bailey opened their seasons with pins, while Diorio lost by pin.

Bass said the Rams wrestled more physical and easily threw his grapplers to the mat from their feet. He hopes that changes as his squad competes against some of eastern North Carolina's top grapplers this weekend.

The Golden Falcons, the reigning Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season champions, will get an early-season preview of their five-team league. They'll see county rivals Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne, and Wilson teams Beddingfield and Hunt.

Also participating are Rosewood, North Pitt, Wilson Fike, D.H. Conley, Clayton, Bunn, South Central, Princeton, Washington and Rocky Mount.