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County grapplers open season in Turkey Classic

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on November 21, 2012 9:53 PM

Wrestlers from three county schools might shy away from the turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving, but they enjoyed a different feast Tuesday evening.

Rivals Eastern Wayne, Rosewood and Charles B. Aycock dined on takedowns, reversals, nearfalls and pins during the six-team Turkey Classic contested in New Hope. They were joined by Topsail, North Johnston and Hertford County.

While none of the county teams escaped unscathed, a few grapplers started their respective seasons in dominating fashion.

Rosewood senior Nick Quillen, the reigning 120-pound Class 1-A state champion, matched the program's career win record (166) and extended his unbeaten streak to 66 matches. Quillen pinned three opponents, including Topsail's Johnny Deveaugh with 20 seconds remaining in their 132-pound bout.

"A challenging match," RHS head coach Bill Edmundson said of the Quillen-Deveaugh tilt.

"Nick has vastly improved his defense from the cradle, which was considered one of his few weaknesses and (he) was able to come away with a pin against a very competitive opponent."

Fellow Matt Cruz pinned every opponent in the opening period and spent a total of 3 minutes, 30 seconds on the mat. Edmundson also lauded the efforts of Matt Raynor, Chris Gladson, Syhieem Peterson and the twins -- Joshua and Sam Drew.

"Our football team has worked extremely hard and was able to advance to the third round of the state playoffs, so we only had our football players who wrestle for one day of practice," Edmundson said. "Considering the extreme change in sports and lack of being prepared, I thought we did an admirable job on the mat tonight."

Five grapplers -- Zach Howard, Jacob Dickenson, Daniel Romo, Khaleil Owens and Jorge Flores -- each logged a 5-0 worksheet for Aycock. The quintet combined for 19 pins.

Romo's 10-point, major decision over Chris Smith sparked the Golden Falcons' 20th consecutive win over Eastern Wayne, 46-33. Dickenson's pin helped Aycock gain momentum against Hertford County and Charlie Mills' 11-0 shutout over Jordan Batson all but sealed a 46-28 decision over Rosewood.

Aycock triumphed in its final four Classic matches after a season-opening loss to Topsail, one of four squads that advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs last February. Aycock, Rosewood and North Johnston each made a postseason appearance.

Ironically, all four qualifiers were the regular-season runners-up in their respective conferences.

"Topsail appeared to be in mid-season form," CBA head coach Marc Peck said. "A few key returners not on weight hurt us. We (also) start the season without our 182- and 220-pounders who are nursing football injuries.

"All things considered, I felt we came back well after a tough defeat to Topsail."

Eastern Wayne finished 3-2 in the Classic. Individual results were not available.