Rosewood -- Final 4
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 15, 2010 1:46 PM
MOUNT GILEAD -- Rosewood penned a new chapter in Wayne County dual-team wrestling history.
West Wilkes ruined the storybook ending.
The Eagles edged West Montgomery 36-34 to claim the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern regional championship --- the first-ever in school and county lore.
West Wilkes rolled over Rosewood 60-10 in the state final later Sunday afternoon. The loss denied the Eagles the chance to claim the school's first-ever state crown in any sport.
"This year's dual team has been one of the most-rewarding coaching experiences of my life," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "These guys have gone from runner-up in the conference to runner-up in the state in just one year."
Rosewood (31-8 overall) received back-to-back pins from 152-pounder Josh Pipkin and 160-pounder Jacob Roberts to start the West Montgomery match. The Warriors (11-9) answered with four consecutive individual wins before the Eagles' Chris Lane doubled up Devin Coyle 10-5 in their 103-pound bout.
Lane's victory started an 18-point run to included Angel Jaramillo's forfeit at 112 pounds, Nick Quillen's decision at 119 and Zach Behrend's second-period fall over Jeff Shea at 125.
West Montgomery, the Yadkin Valley Conference runner-up, triumphed in the next four matches and led 34-30 with just the 145-pound bout remaining on the card.
The Warriors' Chris Bradley performed an illegal leg scissors on Greg Cavenaugh's neck, which caused the Eagle grappler to choke. The referee immediately called the illegal move and Cavenaugh tried to recover within the two-minute span, but couldn't.
The official awarded Cavenaugh the win and Rosewood grabbed the regional title, 36-34.
"(Against) West Montgomery, we knew we would need to do very well in the low weights and hold our own in the upper weights," said Edmundson.
Perennial Northwest Conference power West Wilkes (18-3) refused to settle for state runner-up honors for the second straight year. The Blackhawks won seven of the first eight contested matches.
Jacob Roberts put the Eagles on the board 3-0 with a two-point decision over West's Joe Anderson. The Blackhawks retaliated with five straight pins from Alan Greene, Josh Kilby, Cody Lefler, heavyweight Corey Finn and 103-pounder Devin Fussell.
Behrend snapped West's 39-0 run with a 4-3 decision over Grant Sawyer. The Blackhawks closed out their state-title run with four more individual victories.
"West Wilkes ... a real eye opener for us," said Edmundson. "We found out what it takes to be focused and physical. This experience will pave the way to getting back to this position with a renewed sense of focus and motivation.
"Jacob, Zach and Josh were all undefeated on the day, and are really beginning to have the physical style necessary to succeed in the postseason as an individual."
Rosewood will play host to the first-ever N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern regional individual tournament on Friday and Saturday.
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