02/16/09 — Eagles' Behrend, Holmes prevail

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Eagles' Behrend, Holmes prevail

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on February 16, 2009 2:42 PM

NEWPORT -- Rosewood's Zach Behrend and Joshua Holmes each seized gold medals in the 2009 N.C. High School Athletic Association Classes 1-A/2-A eastern regional wrestling championships contested on the Croatan High mats.

The duo earned a trip to the NCHSAA Championships, which begin Friday in Winston-Salem.

"These young men worked so hard this year, sacrificed so much as teen-agers and it paid off for them," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "Both of these guys wrestled their best matches of the year this weekend."

Behrend, a sophomore 103-pounder, needed just 89 seconds to advance to the semifinals. He notched first-period pins against Tarboro's Steven Berrera and J.A. Holmes' Jacob Hughes.

Seeded No. 2 among 16 competitors, Behrend dominated First Flight's J.C. Mitchell 12-2 to reach the title match. In the finals, he received an injury default over Croatan sophomore Robbie Gladwell, who suffered an eye injury.

"I think Zach surprised himself with the success he's had against the best 103s in the east," said Edmundson.

Holmes drew an opening-round bye and reached the semifinals with a 37-second pin over South Brunswick sophomore Stephen Ikalowych. The No. 2 seed at 145 pounds, Holmes edged Dixon's Jeremy Schwisow 11-9 in the semifinals and stopped Pasquotank junior Ryan Pippen 8-4 for the championship.

Holmes avenged a loss to Pippen, who beat him in the Pierce-Davis Memorial last December.

"We have drilled Joshua all season on how to defend against that style of wrestling because Ryan is the most technical wrestler we've faced all season," said Edmundson. "He is fantastic on tilts and armbars, and ever since we wrestled Pippen, Joshua has been preparing for a rematch.

"He blocked every tilt and scoring attempt."

Fellow Eagles Scott Pate and Andrew Sass each finished fifth in their respective weight class.

Rosewood finished fifth overeall with 80 points in the 33-team regional.

Joining Behrend and Holmes in Winston-Salem will be Spring Creek's Daniel Richter. The junior opened the regional with a second-period pin of South Lenoir's Billie Perry. Richter fell in the quarterfinals to Louisburg's Corey Newell, but reeled off three consecutive decisions to qualify for the state tournament.

Croatan's Elijah Shaul defeated Richter 6-0 in the third-place match.

Richards, Farrell advance

WINTERVILLE -- Justin Farrell and Dustin Richards will respresent Wayne County in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A wrestling championships next weekend.

Farrell, a junior at Charles B. Aycock, ended up third in the 119-pound weight class. The top seed among his competitors, Farrell turned back Northern Nash's Donald Battle 14-7 to earn a trip to Winston-Salem.

Richards, a senior at Southern Wayne, claimed third at 145 pounds. He edged Nash Central's Steven Luper 5-3 and will make his second consecutive appearance in the state meet.