Six county grapplers win SMAC championships
In a final tuneup before state team playoffs and regional and state individual tournaments, Rutherford County wrestlers got the opportunity to wrestle for conference supremacy Saturday at Crest High School during the South Mountain Athletic Conference (SMAC) tournament.
After nearly 12 hours on the mats, six Rutherford County wrestlers captured first-place honors in their weight class.
R-S Central led the way with three individual winners. Kaleb Hines (220pounds) claimed his second consecutive conference crown while Caleb Cox (120 pounds) and freshman Ramon Rodriguez (182 pounds) won their classes.
“This year has been a really good year. Now I’m trying to win states and go to nationals,” Hines said. Hines won by 7-2 decision over Burns’ Nick Costigan.
Rodriguez struggled early in the season but worked through it and won possibly the most entertaining title match of the night, a double-overtime decision win (6-5) over Chase’s Jalen Jackson.
“I wrestled (Jackson) earlier in the season but he’s gotten a lot better. It was a tough overtime match and I came out with it,” Rodriguez said. “Early in the season I never would have thought I’d win conference, but I worked hard and I’m proud of it.”
“Ramon looked really good. He’s come a long
See SMAC/Page B4
way,” R-S Central head coach Rich Cox said.
Other Hilltoppers to place included Michael Gnandt (106 pounds - 3rd place), Austin Neal (113 pounds - 3rd place), Micah Hines (145 pounds - 4th place) and Rex Salicki (285 pounds - 4th place), who wrestled in place of the injured Hunter Edwards.
“[Salicki] is a great story,” Rich Cox said. “He hadn’t wrestled a match all year and came in and took fourth.”
Two Chase Trojans took the top spot in their respective weight classes. Sammy Peticos (113 pounds) continued his spectacular freshman campaign with a second-round pin of Shelby’s Davoshia Mason while Jesus Sanchez (160 pounds) pinned Crest’s Jordan Cray late in the second round to highlight his senior season with a conference crown.
Peticos now holds the freshman record for wins at Chase High School overtaking his coach, Adam Dedmon.
“It was my goal from even before the season started,” Peticos said of the record. “When we were doing preseason workout I kept telling [Dedmon] that I was going to get that record.”
“Sammy and Jesus have both been tested this year and had a lot of success,” Dedmon said. “I think they have a great shot placing in the state tournament.”
Chase’s Stephan Phillips finished second at 195 pounds.
“That match could have gone either way but he got caught in throw,” Dedmon said. “We’re still expecting big things from him at regionals and at states.”
East Rutherford’s Nathan Daisley took the title at 152 pounds after his finals opponent, East Burke’s Dillan Childers, was injured in the semifinals while advancing on a disqualification.
East Rutherford’s Chase Lovelace (120 pounds) and Ryan Date (138 pounds) also placed, finishing in fourth place in their respective weight classes.
R-S Central returns to the mats tonight as the host the first and second rounds of the state playoff duals. The Hilltoppers wrestle Madison at 6 p.m., and if they win, they’ll face the winner of Owen and West McDowell at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
At Crest High School
Team scores: 1. East Burke 163.5, 2. Kings Mountain 140, 3. Crest 135.5, 4. Burns 126.5, 5. R-S Central 111.5, 6. Shelby 86, 7. Draughn 84.5, 8. Chase 83.5, 9. East Rutherford 48
Most outstanding wrestler: Austin Champion, Kings Mountain, 170 lbs.
106: Jacob McMonegle (EB) pins Cameron Sarvis (KM), 1:02.
113: Sammy Peticos (Ch) pins Davoshia Mason (S), 2:34.
120: Caleb Cox (RS) 9-2 dec. Noah Gilbert (EB).
126: Josh Barefoot (B) 11-5 dec. Thomas McLaughlin (Cr).
132: Taylor Smith (KM) 6-2 dec. Christian Giles (D).
138: James Smith (B) 13-3 maj. dec. Nathan Kee (S).
145: Ethan Eubanks (B) pins Alex Austin (KM), 2:14.
152: Dillan Childers (EB) injury default Nathan Daisley (ER).
160: Jesus Sanchez (Ch) pins Jordan Cray (Cr), 3:47.
170: Austin Champion (KM) 5-2 dec. Jakob Prestwood (EB).
182: Ramon Rodriguez (RS) 6-5 dec. (2OT) Jalen Jackson (Ch).
195: Dustin Greene (Cr) pins Stephan Phillips (Ch), 4:17.
220: Kaleb Hines (RS) 7-2 dec. Nick Costigan (B).
285: Chris Bumgarner (D) pins Chaz Gamble, 0:34.
106: Michael Gnandt (RS) 9-3 dec. Adam Street (D).
113: Austin Neal (RS) 5-2 dec. Zack Melton (KM).
120: Ben Leal (B) 12-4 dec. Chase Lovelace (ER).
126: Brent Terry (EB) 12-2 dec. Timothy Hartman (S).
132: Lathan Kee (S) pins Kris Martin (Cr), 1:30.
138: Houston Camp (Cr) pins Ryan Date (ER), 5:02.
145: Justin Franklin (EB) 1-0 dec. Micah Hines (RS).
152: Dylan Millson (B) 8-2 dec. Jacob Gragg (Cr).
160: Elijah Whitaker (KM) 9-3 dec. Jules Bouchard (B).
170: Isaiah Simon (Cr) 21-5 tech. fall Zach Grant (D).
182: Josh Sparks (EB) 1-0 dec. Chavon Miller (S).
195: London Page (EB) injury default Timothy Abee (D).
220: Austin Smith (EB) 5-4 dec. Michael Morton (Cr).
285: Michael Stillwell (EB) pins Rex Salicki (RS), 4:30.