01/09/09 — Warriors welcome high-competitive teams

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Warriors welcome high-competitive teams

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 9, 2009 1:46 PM

When Zach Hahn takes the mat Saturday morning in the fourth annual Battle at Little Big Horn wrestling invitational, he'll carry a huge weight on his shoulders.

The junior 125-pounder is Eastern Wayne's lone returning grappler with any significant experience in tournament action and is expected to face stern opposition in what is vastly becoming one of eastern North Carolina's most-competitive weekend tournaments. Hahn claimed a bronze medal a year ago.

The 16-team event begins approximately at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Joining the Warriors are two-time defending team champion New Bern, along with perennial powers Havelock, D.H. Conley and Jacksonville White Oak. Also participating are Southern Wayne, South Central, South Johnston, J.A. Holmes, Roanoke Rapids, Northern Durham, Louisburg, Triton, Washington, Hertford County and Athens Drive.

The day-long meet will also feature 26 wrestlers who are either ranked or received honorable mention status in the latest Super 32 Report, which is compiled by ncmat.com. The highest-ranked wrestlers expected to compete are New Bern's Jeremy Althizer, No. 2 among 135-pounders at the Class 4-A level; and Washington's Justin Moore, a two-time state qualifier ranked No. 2 at 171 pounds in 3-A.

Hahn is 19-9 overall this season with a team-leading 13 pins. Josh Hahn has 14 individual victories, followed by junior 119-pounder Corbin Harris, who is 13-8 with 10 pins.

Just five Warriors have 10 or more wins this season, including sophomore heavyweight Zach Myers (11-3) and freshman 103-pounder Roderick Ayers (12-11). Myers has notched eight pins, while Josh Hahn and Ayers have seven pins apiece.

As a team, Eastern Wayne has finished no higher than 11th in three previous individual tournaments this season.