Aycock takes ECC 3-A title
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 7, 2011 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Manage your match.
Charles B. Aycock's wrestling team heard the message during daily practice and moments before the season-ending, Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference individual championship tournament Saturday morning.
Boy, they certainly listened.
Five grapplers seized gold medals in their respective weight classes and the Golden Falcons successfully defended their team crown -- 219-185 over league newcomer Cleveland.
Eastern Wayne claimed third with 152.5 points, followed by South Johnston (102.5), Triton (97.5) and Southern Wayne (76). Each school had at least one individual champion during the 6-hour affair.
C.B. Aycock claimed its third tournament championship in the past four seasons, and ninth overall in program history since 1998.
"We constantly teach the kids that you have the responsibility to control everything within your span of control, to contribute to a team effort and all three of our goals are team goals," said Aycock's Marc Peck, who earned his second straight ECC coach-of-the-year award.
"They managed the day well."
Wrestlers in the 14 weight classes competed in a round-robin style format. None of the divisions were full and some classes had as few as three competitors.
David Romo just stayed focused.
The 119-pound grappler easily dispatched his two opponents and started the Golden Falcons' title parade with a gold-medal effort. A junior, Romo was named the ECC wrestler-of-the-year. He's the eighth Aycock wrestler to receive the honor.
"I just came in with the mindset that I should try my best, go hard in the two matches," said Romo. "(Two matches) puts a lot more pressure on it. You try not to overlook the first match because to wrestle in the championship, you have to win that one.
"I feel like I just had to perform and I did today."
The Golden Falcons' Daniel Romo cruised to a five-point lead after two periods against Cleveland's Joey McKinney. McKinney recorded a five-point move in the third period and caught Romo in a tight body scissors that nearly squeezed all of the breath out of him.
Romo bridged his back to prevent the pin, and time slowly expired in their 130-pound match that decided the gold medal.
"I got tired," said Romo. "I guess I was staying on my knees too long, and he just caught me. He had my body scissored, was pulling on my left shoulder and trying to get a pin. I had a comfortable lead and knew that three nearfall points wouldn't hurt me.
"I was thinking bridge up and stay off my back."
Senior heavyweight Jarrod James rallied from behind to defeat Eastern Wayne's Calvin Christian, 5-1, in their gold-medal bout. James avenged an earlier loss to Christian in dual match nearly one month ago.
Nick Simmons, who transferred from 5-A power Lownes High School two seasons ago, claimed the 171-pound championship. First-year starter Nick Jones emerged the 103-pound champion.
"Jarrod took care of business," said Peck. "David stayed hot and has been very reliant, as usual. We're extremely proud of his brother, Daniel, who is very technically savvy. I really can't say enough about Nick Simmons, who we moved up (a weight class) to give him a positive shot for gold and man, he took advantage of that opportunity."
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