Eagles claim first Falcon Invitational title
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 23, 2009 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- The Falcon Invitational trophy is returning to Wayne County, but it will reside in the trophy case at Rosewood High School.
Six Eagles recorded top-four finishes in their respective weight classes and racked up 148 points to claim the 10th installment of the area's season-opening wrestling tournament. Clayton finished 71/2 points back in the day-long event, which took 13-plus hours to complete.
Returning state placer Zach Behrend (119 pounds), returning starter Scott Pate (130) and newcomer Luke Davis (135) each earned a gold medal. Behrend recorded a third-period escape and upended Aycock senior Justin Farrell, a returning state qualifier, 1-0 in their championship match.
Nick Quillen and Matt Coley each collected a bronze medal at 112 and 140 pounds, respectively, for the Eagles. Teammate Josh Pipkin took fourth in the 152-pound division.
"My expectations were far exceeded in this tournament," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson. "This early tournament gave us an opportunity to see just what we need to do to improve. There were so many underclassmen in the weight classes, and all of the teams were very evenly matched.
"I was hoping for a top-eight finish, but after the first round, we only had one (individual) loss and 30 (team points). I was blown away."
Overall, 10 county wrestlers received medals for their efforts.
Eastern Wayne heavyweight Zach Myers, a returning regional qualifier, placed fourth. Southern Wayne 140-pounder Jacob Richards and 215-pounder Derek Whitman, both returning starters, placed second and third, respectively.
Farrell was the lone medal winner for the Golden Falcons, who have won the most team titles in Falcon Invitational history. Aycock missed four starters due to either football or injuries.
"I'm not real disappointed and I probably shouldn't say this, but to me the Falcon was like a preseason (tournament) for us, a chance to get some mat time for the inexperienced kids," said first-year Golden Falcons coach Mark Peck. "I know the Falcon is supposed to help us get off on the right foot, but we're just not there yet.
"When our young kids had to go up against two- and three-year starters, they just couldn't get it done. Plus, we had to bump up (the lineup) and forced us to move a few kids out of their weight classes."
Aycock finished 11th overall in the 16-team competition with 74 points. Southern Wayne captured 13th with 57 points, while Eastern Wayne claimed 15th with 44 points.
Princeton's B.J. Creech took fourth at 145 pounds.