03/01/13 — County grapplers seeking state titles

View Archive

County grapplers seeking state titles

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

GREENSBORO -- Their respective paths have led to the same destination.

And each will chase his own dream.

Seven grapplers from perennial wrestling powers Charles B. Aycock and Rosewood traveled to the Greensboro Coliseum for the N.C. High School Athletic Association wrestling championships, which began Thursday in the 2-A, 3-A and 4-A classifications.

The 1-A session launched this afternoon.

The Golden Falcons and Eagles worked out together Tuesday afternoon in preparation for the double-elimination, three-day event. They're are among more than 600 wrestlers from nearly every school in the state who are battling for 168 medals in the four classifications combined.

Aycock has not had a state placer since Khiry Reid in 2009.

Sophomore Zack Howard, and seniors Daniel Romo and Khaleil Owens look to end the program's drought.

"It is fitting that these three qualified," CBA head coach Marc Peck said. "They were our team captains and most consistent (wrestlers) all year. Much of our team stayed in the room to help our qualifiers prepare, which is a testament to the fine young men that we have been fortunate to coach."

Howard remained in the championship draw in the 106-pound weight class with a 6-4, overtime decision over Morehead's William Pryor. Howard (50-3 overall) faced Western regional champion Blake Rogers of St. Stephens earlier today.

Meanwhile, Romo and Owens dropped into the consolation bracket at 132 and 160 pounds, respectively. Romo suffered a second-period loss against RS Central's Colin Cope. Owens endured a 4-0 setback to Brantley Scott of Western Alamance.

Rosewood has four wrestlers at states -- defending 126-pound champion Nick Quillen, 106-pounder Malique Boyd, 113-pounder Angel Jaramillo and first-time qualifier Kaleb Smith (160 pounds).

Quillen hopes to become just the second two-time individual state champion in Rosewood's athletics history. He opened defense of his state title against Cherokee's Levi Swearengin this afternoon.

"There is a lot of pressure on Nick internally and externally," Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson said.

Boyd tangled with Western regional champion Zack Orr of Robbinsville. Jaramillo met Western regional runner-up Irvin Portugal of Robbinsville. Smith drew a first-round date with Cherokee's Tavi Rivera.

"Malique has been under the radar all season and now it's his time to shine," Edmundson said. "Angel is experienced in the high-pressure matches and will not be phased by the atmosphere and distractions at the coliseum. Kaleb is confident and has a headlock that can catch anyone offguard.

"We have preached all week about continuing to do the things that got them to the state championships and not being satisfied with being there. This group has the potential to do very well at states and make a name for themselves."