02/15/13 — North Rowan starts strong, knocks out Rosewood

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North Rowan starts strong, knocks out Rosewood

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 15, 2013 1:47 PM

SPENCER -- The bridesmaid ... again.

North Rowan's wrestlers prevailed in the first seven individual contested matches and cruised past Rosewood, 55-18, in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A dual-team eastern regional final Thursday evening.

The Eagles finished the year 39-12 overall and are 1-4 all-time in regional championship matches.

"I honestly expected a little better showing, but I'm not totally disappointed," RHS head coach Bill Edmundson said. "This is a learning experience that you just can't get anywhere else, no other way to prepare than to experience a hostile environment and a tough physical team.

"To get this much experience (over 50 matches) and finish tied for third in the state with a group this young is unbelievable."

With just two starting seniors, Rosewood couldn't get on track.

North Rowan, the Yadkin Valley champion, posted pins during five of the first seven matches. The Cavaliers (27-2) claimed nail-biting decisions at 106 and 126 pounds.

Rosewood senior Nick Quillen stopped the 36-0 run with a pin over Jaleel Hitchins at 132 pounds. Quillen improved to a county-best 53-1 this season and collected his 39th pin.

Teammates Joshua Drew and Kaleb Smith notched back-to-back pins at 152 and 160, respectively. Drew has 46 victories, while Smith became the seventh Eagle to reach the 40-win plateau this season.

"Nick, Josh and Kaleb came away with big pins tonight," Edmundson said. "Josh probably had the toughest match and dominated from start to finish. Sam (Drew), Mathews Cruz, Malique and Angel Jaramillo also had really tough matches, but came up short."

The Eagles return to action Feb. 23 in the NCHSAA eastern individual regional tournament at Princeton.

"The team got a taste of what the state dual-team tournament is all about tonight, and I think they will not be intimidated or get caught up in the excitement and distractions of the tournament in the next few years," Edmundson said. "We are really excited about what the future holds for this team. These guys have worked incredibly hard to accomplish these goals and have the success we've had."

North Rowan battles West Wilkes for the state title Saturday.