02/28/11 — Rosewood duo each finish second at championships

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Rosewood duo each finish second at championships

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 28, 2011 1:48 PM

GREENSBORO -- Foiled again.

On the verge of adding another chapter to the Rosewood High and Wayne County wrestling history books, the unthinkable happened to Nick Quillen and Zach Behrend early Saturday evening.

Quillen sustained a severely-sprained back muscle and Behrend endured concussion-like symptoms during medal-round action of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A championships. Quillen and Behrend each ended up second in their respective weight classes, and left the Greensboro Coliseum Complex with bittersweet memories.

It was Behrend's final bout of his career.

Quillen has two seasons left on the prep scene.

"This was a bittersweet tournament for our coaching staff," said Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson. "On one hand, it was our best showing ever placing four wrestlers in the top four in the state, and finishing fifth as a team.

"On the other hand, we felt as if we had at least two wrestlers who stood an outstanding shot at winning a state title. Injuries prevented both of these young men from realizing their dream."

A sophomore, Quillen earned his 100th career win with a quarterfinal-round victory over Sean Webb in the 119-pound division. He injured his back in a semifinal-round triumph over Giancarlo Solorzano, which was a rematch of the east regional championship contested one week ago.

Quillen (57-2 overall) received treatment before the finals and struggled against western champ Jorge Lima from West Wilkes. Lima eventually pinned Quillen with 29 seconds left in the first period.

"When the match was over, he was heartbroken, but determined to learn from the experience," said Edmundson. "He is going to be on a mission for the next two seasons."

Behrend entered the 125 ranks unbeaten in 49 outings this season. The senior rolled past Swain County's Bradley Greene in the opening round and stopped Mitchell's Colton McKinney, 12-7, in the semifinals.

JJ LaPlante waited in the wings.

Behrend countered LaPlante's every move in the first period and actually had a late lead. Then Behrend nearly lost consciousness while on the mat. He used all his injury time (90 seconds) to regain his composure and finished the period.

In the second period, LaPlante worked an armbar and Behrend went limp after bouncing his head on the mat. Edmundson and his assistant coach immediately called off the match, and conceded the injury default to LaPlante.

"I explained to Zach that this was not his fault," said Edmundson. "This was not something he could prepare for, it was not a flaw in his work ethic and that sometimes unfortunate things happen to good people.

"Zach has had a wonderful career at Rosewood."

The Eagles' Angel Jaramillo placed fourth at 103 pounds, while senior Josh Pipkin reached the 100-win plateau in his career after a fourth-place effort at 160 pounds. Junior Taylor McGill tied for fifth at 189.