Pack places second at tourneyPublished 5:26pm Monday, January 7, 2013
The Washington wrestling team recovered from a cold start with a hot finish to take second place in the eighth annual Eli Saleeby Wrestling Memorial tournament on Saturday.
The Pam Pack ended the day with a 4-1 record and in a four-way tie for second place with Farmville Central, West Craven and First Flight. Dixon finished a perfect 5-0 to win the 10-team tournament.
“The first match we came in a little sloppy. I think we were still a bit sleepy and it showed on the matt and we ended up losing to Farmville Central,” Washington wrestling coach Daniel Riggs said. “After that, me and the coaches talked to them and they decided to wake up and they finished strong the rest of the day.”
After falling to Farmville, Washington ran the table as it beat Edenton-Holmes, Pamlico County, Northeastern and Hertford County to tie for second place.
The tournament is held in honor of former Washington wrestler Eli Saleeby who died in a car accident on Aug. 30, 2005.
Running the daylong, 10-team tournament takes a tremendous team effort and Riggs said he received plenty of support from the community.
“We got a lot of support from our wrestling parents who ran the concessions and a lot of the tables,” Riggs said. “The middle schools sent a lot of kids over to help work the tournament and we actually had several former students and students that are still at the high school come out to help run some of the tables.”
The Pam Pack received several big time performances on Saturday as Ned Batts (4-0), Jason Gardner (5-0), Devon Van Cura (4-0), Thomas Remick (5-0) and David Giordano (4-0) each finished the grueling tournament undefeated.
“Ned Batts has really been stepping up and it showed on Saturday. He went 4-0 and every match he really took it to his opponent. You can tell that things are starting to come together for him,” Riggs said. “Thomas looks like he is starting to heal up from a knee injury he had earlier in the season and he’s gaining more confidence as we go through the season.
“David wrestled two matches and had two forfeits but he looked a lot better on Saturday and he went out there and took it straight to his opponents.”
The tournament, which serves as the Pam Pack wrestling team’s biggest fundraiser, began at 8 a.m. and did not finish until approximately 6 p.m. Riggs said the long day allowed some of the backups to see some action and helped prepare his team for the postseason.
“What I try to do is get everybody at least one match so some of our normal starters don’t have to go all five matches,” Riggs said. “But, the tournament prepares them for the states and the regionals. It’s the middle part of the season so they should be getting prepared for that and this tournament is a great way to practice for regionals and hopefully a trip to state.”