Chase's Josh Stephens claims state wrestling title
Chase High School’s Josh Stephens told his mother Tammie Stephens he was going all the way this season.
After falling short of state wrestling titles during the last three years, Stephens fulfilled his own prophecy by going unscathed to claim the 145-pound 2A state wrestling title Saturday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum.
East Rutherford’s Cody Hall also earned a medal, finishing fourth overall at 132 pounds.
In team scoring, Chase finished 17th overall with 34 points and East Rutherford was 34th with 17. Croatan won the team title with 120.5 points, ahead of Newton Conover’s 100 points.
Stephens cruised through the 145-pound bracket, giving up just eight points en route to the title.
In the first round, he pinned Swansboro’s Corey Hall in 56 seconds.
Stephens followed that up with a 9-1 win over Dalton Clark of Eastern Randolph, putting him in the championship semifinals.
There, he defeated East top seed Nate Fallon, of Croatan by pin at 3:48.
That put him in the championship finals against Midwest No. 1 seed Michael Elliott of Ashe County. Elliott came into the match with just one loss on the year.
After three periods, Stephens came out with a 10-8 win and a state title in the weight division.
Hall picked up a 9-0 first round win over Shykeim Williams of Randleman and followed up by defeating Johnny Deveaugh of Topsail with a pin at 4 minutes, 49 seconds of the match.
In the championship semifinals, Hall battled with First Flight’s Alex Monaco but lost 6-2. Monaco went on to win the state title in the weight class.
Dropping to the consolation bracket, Hall started with a 9-5 win over North Eastern’s Joshua Markham, placing him in the consolation finals. There, he suffered a loss to Newton-Conover’s Franklin Wepner, earning fourth-place in the bracket.
In the 152-pound bracket, East Rutherford’s Nathan Daisley entered as the West’s No. 4 seed.
In the first round, he lost to Mid-East top seed James Ryan of Trinity.
Dropping to the consolation bracket, Daisley earned a bye in the first round and faced off with Cedar Ridge’s Adam Howard in the second around.
Howard and Daisley battled for three periods before Howard came away with a 4-3 win to advance. Howard eventually finished fifth in the bracket.
In the heavyweight (285) division, Chase’s Richard Sharek opened the state tournament with a 10-2 win over Wilkes Central’s Kasain Tillman.
In the second round, Sharek battled to overtime with Trinity’s Chaas Delgado before losing 4-3. Delgado went on to win the state title in the division.
Sharek pinned his first opponent in the consolation round, Northwood’s Thaddeus Tallman, in 3:28.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Sharek lost to North Pitt’s Demarcus Whitehurst, who went on to finish fifth in the bracket.
At 126 pounds, Chase’s Lance Johnson lost in the opening round to Tyler Myers of Trinity. In the first consolation match, Johnson defeated Croatan’s Dustin McCraw, 8-6. Johnson’s tournament came to an end after losing the Newton-Conover’s Jonte Parker in the second round of the consolation bracket.
R-S Central’s Colin Cope defeated his first-round opponent at 132 pounds in the 3A state tournament with a pin of Daniel Romo, of Aycock, in 3 minutes, 49 seconds.
Cope lost in the second round to eventual champion Payton Shuford of West Iredell. In the consolation bracket, Cope lost to East Henderson’s Aaron Owensby, 12-8 in the second consolation round.
At 113 pounds, Caleb Cox lost in the first round to Union Pines’ Mike Fedowitz, 8-0. Dropping to the consolation bracket, Cox defeated Dustin Smith of West Caderet, 5-2 in the first round but lost to St. Stephens’ Dakota Griffith, 4-3 in the next round.
As a team, the Hilltoppers placed 55th overall with 5 points. Orange won the team title with 106.5 points.
In 1A, Thomas Jefferson’s Will McCraw opened the state tournament with a loss to Diego Martinez of Ayden-Grifton.
McCraw battled back and won his first consolation bracket match, 16-3 over Benson Robles but lost in the consolation bracket semifinals, 12-2 to Kyle Kidd of North Moore.