01/10/11 — Falcon Invitational -- Warrior matmen have good day

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Falcon Invitational -- Warrior matmen have good day

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 10, 2011 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- A good team outing.

Five Eastern Wayne grapplers finished among the top four in their respective weight classes, and four earned medals in the 11th annual Falcon Invitational contested Saturday at Charles B. Aycock High School.

Siblings Warren (112 pounds) and Nolan Kirkwood (140), and 215-pounder James Barrett each claimed a silver medal. Austin Helm worked his way through the consolation bracket and seized a bronze medal. Heavyweight Calvin Christian placed fourth.

The Warriors finished fifth overall in the 11-team event.

"(The) surprise of the day had to be Warren, who wrestled his smartest matches of the year," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jonathan Jones. "Brice Heller also made a big difference. Nolan and James had strong days, and it was good to have James back from injuries and wrestling like himself (again)."

Warren Kirkwood endured a second-period fall against D.H. Conley's Aaron Hill in the final round. Nolan dropped a nail-biting, 3-2 decision to Rocky Mount's Elliott Whitehead in their title match.

Barrett lost 4-2 to top-seeded and unbeaten Tyrone Perkins, from North Pitt, in their championship bout.

Heller pinned two opponents, while Christian logged back-to-back falls over South Central's Trey Tyson and Rocky Mount's Jemor Parker. Teammates Aaron Bott, Tyshawn Koonce, Craig Smith and Brandon Gray each earned one win on the day.

"As a young team, we continue to make progress on the mat," said Jones. "As I told the guys, it's a lot of fun to coach a group of guys who are working this hard to get better."

Eastern Wayne returns to action Jan. 15 at Mustang Stampede, which is hosted by Middle Creek HS. Opening-round matches begin approximately 9:30 a.m.