12/15/08 — Eagles' Holmes gets respect

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Eagles' Holmes gets respect

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 15, 2008 1:46 PM

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Rosewood's Dillon Guss puts an opponent on his back during action at the Eagle Invitational at Rosewood High School on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008.

Joshua Holmes finally got a little respect.

The Rosewood senior earned his third individual championship of the season with an impressive performance in the 13th annual Eagle Invitational contested in his home gym.

And opposing coaches noticed, too.

Holmes wrestled less than eight minutes in three matches, including a 4-minute fall against Southern Wayne's Dustin Richards in the 145-pound title match. Holmes (13-1 overall) pinned every opponent he faced and grabbed the Most Outstanding Wrestler award among 240 competitors who vied for 42 medals in 14 weight classes.

"It was great to see Joshua earn that award," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson. "Joshua wrestled tough. He is so quiet and not about being flashy or drawing attention to himself. He just goes out there and takes care of business."

Holmes emerged one of nine Wayne County grapplers who received a medal during the day-long, 20-team event.

Fellow Eagle Zach Behrend won his second straight individual crown with a 10-5 decision over White Oak's Ryan Hedgecorth at 103 pounds. Behrend improved to 10-2 this season.

"Zach has been a workhorse," said Edmundson. "He is such a great kid and has been wrestling smart in his last two tournaments. He trains hard and pushes his teammates in practice."

Behrend finished third in MOW voting.

Charles B. Aycock's Justin Farrell claimed second in the 119-pound division with a 6-4 loss to White Oak's Wesley Goldsmith in the finals. Teammate Brandon Bailey seized third at 130 pounds with a 9-1 rout of Edenton Holmes' Tevin Holley.

The Golden Falcons' Bryan Diorio, for the second consecutive year, settled for a third-place tie with North Johnston's Wayne Johnson at 215 pounds. Diorio had wrestled the maximum number of matches (5) allowed in one day and lost to Johnson in the second round.

Spring Creek's Garrette Lewis and Daniel Richter each collected a bronze medal at 112 and 119 pounds, respectively. Lewis pinned Northeastern's Brandon Rosa with eight seconds left in the opening period. Richter easily handled Smithfield-Selma's Oscar Chairez 13-2.

Eastern Wayne's Zach Hahn ended up in a four-way deadlock at 140 pounds. Hahn finished the day 2-1, falling to North Johnston's Daniel Munoz in semifinal-round action. But his remaining competitors -- David Brumbaugh (Millbrook), Henry Johnson (S-Selma) and Kenneth Jones (Pine Forest) couldn't continue since Johnson had met the five-match rule.

South Central edged White 219-211 for the team championship, while Pine Forest finished a close third with 208.5 points. Millbrook (147) and North Pitt (120) rounded out the top five.

Class 1-A Carolina Conference rivals Rosewood and North Johnston shared seventh place with 97 points apiece. Edmundson said that points earned by Chris Lane (112 pounds) and Aaron Keefer (189) aided the Eagles' cause. The duo won their first-ever varsity matches during the Invitational.

"In a much tougher field of teams, this week we ended up in the top third," said Edmundson. "I think our guys were able to reflect on what happened last week and refocus on what they had to do to be successful this week.

"Coach (Dan) Miner and I had high expectations this week, and the team came through for us and performed better than expected."

C.B. Aycock, the 2006 and 2007 Invitational champion, placed eighth with 84 points. Spring Creek took 11th, while county archrivals Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne wound up 15th and 16th, respectively.