02/02/11 — Golden Falcons repeat as ECC 3-A champions

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Golden Falcons repeat as ECC 3-A champions

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 2, 2011 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- An archrival in the house, Charles B. Aycock had no trouble concentrating on one of its preseason goals Tuesday evening.

Preston Tucker started a match-opening, 18-0 run and the Golden Falcons secured the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season wrestling championship with 59-21, senior night triumph over Southern Wayne.

"We've been talking all year about the three goals we have -- conference and tournament championships, and third round of the state duals," said Aycock head coach Marc Peck. "The kids were focused about the task at hand. We told them this is your first goal, go get it. They went out and got it."

The Golden Falcons (25-10 overall, 5-0 ECC) earned their second consecutive league title and eighth overall in program history since 1998. Since the ECC's inception in 2002, the Golden Falcons have beaten 44 of 49 league opponents, including 12 straight victories over the Saints.

"(Our kids) performed, but not as well as they could have," said Southern Wayne assistant coach Cianci Glaspie. "They could have went a little stronger. The guys always gain a little more respect (each match) and they have respect for the opponents. This (match) helps us on technique and gives the kids a chance to see where they fall short."

Aycock triumphed in five of the seven contested matches.

Tucker surrendered the initial takedown to the Saints' AJ Covington in the opening match of the night. Trailing 2-1, Tucker opened the third period with a takedown and Covington quickly scored a reverse to go back in front, 4-3.

With one minute to go, Tucker reversed his position against Covington and pinned him with 44 seconds left in their 135-pound bout.

Teammate Zeb Darden, a three-year starter, followed with a first-period fall over Southern Wayne's Josh Maultsby at 140. Then Zach Rhue drew a forfeit at 145. The short-handed Saints yielded five forfeits during the 45-minute affair.

"We were technically efficient with Darden and Tucker, but any time those guys go up against anybody who has got some muscle and grip, they struggle with them," said Peck.

Jamison Dove, one of three returning ECC champions for the Saints, put the visitors on the board with a come-from-behind, 6-5 decision over Khaleil Owens at 152 pounds. Senior 160-pounder Ethan Brogden and 112-pounder Travis Memmelaar, each an ECC champ in 2010, drew a forfeit and won by fall, respectively.

"Those guys are wrestling really well," said Glaspie of Dove, Brogden and Memmelaar. "Their technique is pretty good. Dove had a little slow start and tried to muscle too much. (He) had to step back and regain his technique, wear his opponent down."

The Saints' Devin Lee triumphed at 215.

Aycock seniors Jarrod James, Nick Simmons and Travion Lewis each claimed a win. Fellow senior Aaron Pate did not wrestle due to an injured right thumb. The quartet, along with Darden, have been part of three ECC titles and 65 regular-season, dual-team victories during their careers.

First-year starter Nick Jones (103 pounds), David and Daniel Romo and Jordan Bailey each drew a forfeit for the Golden Falcons.