02/12/18 — Wrestling --CBA's Maldonado claims 3A East Regional crown

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Wrestling --CBA's Maldonado claims 3A East Regional crown

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on February 12, 2018 5:53 AM

SHALLOTTE --  Charles B. Aycock's Devin Maldonado endured a tough 113-pound bracket at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A East Regional wrestling tournament on Saturday, booking a spot in next weekend's state championship in the process.

Maldonado, the event's No. 4 seed,  began his quest to Greensboro with a victory over Russell Dennison of Franklinton in the opening round, then vanquished No. 5 seed Sam Johnson of West Carteret to reach the semifinals.

Once there, the junior dispensed of No. 1 seed Nathan Bray of Topsail, holding on for an 11-8 decision and a berth in the finals --  where he would establish control over West Johnston's Nate Mayfield from the outset and file a 9-5 victory.

Not bad, really, for a kid who just took up the sport approximately one year ago.

"This kid is truly amazing," CBA head coach Brian Doyle said. "And to accomplish what he has in only his second year as a wrestler is incredible."

Also competing for the Golden Falcons was senior Austin Doyle, who fell agonizingly short of qualifying for the state tournament a final time when he suffered a 15-9 setback to Matthew Smith of West Brunswick.

Over the course of his career, Doyle compiled a 119-40 record -- including a 38-8 mark this year.

Fellow classmate Austin Creel rounded out matters for CBA, and saw his solid prep career close with a 13-11 loss to Nathan Martinez of Topsail.

Creel finished his time on the mat in Pikeville with an impressive 106 victories.

"They fought hard and competed and that's all you want from your kids and they did that," Doyle said of the season. "We're a very young team, and hopefully we will build on this next year. The future of Aycock wrestling is very bright."

And with Maldonado leading the charge, decidedly so.