01/02/09 — Pilkington Memorial Duals: Youth-laden Golden Falcons will have their hands full

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Pilkington Memorial Duals: Youth-laden Golden Falcons will have their hands full

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 2, 2009 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Continue to improve.

It's the lone goal Charles B. Aycock wrestling coach Mark Bass reminds his team each time it steps onto the mat this season.

Saturday will be no exception.

The Golden Falcons play host to the annual Terry Pilkington Memorial Duals, a day-long tournament to remember the Aycock coach who established the program in the late 1990s. Ten teams are expected to compete in the event, which begins at 9 a.m.

Admission is $6.

"Our goal is basically the same as when we went to Louisburg," said Bass. "I want to see our young kids take another step on the mat, wrestle intelligent and stay off our backs ... not give up too many points.

"I'd like to see them get some quality wins."

Joining Aycock are county foes Rosewood and Southern Wayne; along with Princeton, Wilson Hunt, Washington, SouthWest Edgecombe, Greene Central, South Lenoir and North Johnston.

North Johnston is unbeaten in six outings this year and favored to dethrone Rosewood for the Class 1-A Carolina Conference regular-season championship. Coastal Conference member Washington is 11-3 and Wilson Hunt has emerged the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference leader after an upset victory over Aycock in mid-December.

"Washington looks pretty strong from their 152 to heavyweight, which are all returning starters," said Bass. "North Johnston looks good and Rosewood, if they can get their weights worked out, should have a good chance."

Where does Aycock, the defending Pilkington champ, fit in?

"We'll get to see if we've had some quality practices during Christmas break," said Bass. "We'll see just how hard the guys have worked when we get back on the mats Saturday. But it's really hard to say just how well you'll do when it's your first week back from a long break."