High five for Pam PackPublished 8:59pm Monday, February 25, 2013
The Pam Pack wrestling team pinned down five spots in the upcoming NCHSAA 3-A state tournament as Devon Van Cura, Ned Batts, Jason Gardner, Thomas Remick and David Giordano each placed fourth or better in the East Regional meet to keep their hopes of state glory alive.
Van Cura led the way as he captured an East Regional championship in the 160-pound category, while Batts grappled his way to a second-place finish in the 170-pound division.
Jason Gardner (120) and Thomas Remick (152) will each be making their second straight trip to the state meet as they locked down third place in the region, while senior David Giordano (126) will be making his first state appearance.
Washington brought a total of 11 wrestlers to the regional meet but not everyone was able to advance as Cameron Davenport, Jordan Grazier, Chris Bohn, Kyle Krajewski, Lane Jackson and Jay Campbell gave strong efforts but did not make the cut.
“I feel like as a team we did good,” Washington coach Daniel Riggs said. “I know Lane and Kyle were really disappointed but they’re only sophomores and compared to last year they showed a lot of improvement.”
Riggs also praised Campbell, who missed making it to state by falling in overtime in his final match.
“Jay showed a lot of heart,” Riggs said. “We were not disappointed in his performance, we’re just disappointed he came up one match short especially because it’s his senior year.”
Heart was in abundance at the regional meet as Van Cura, who suffered a midseason concussion, and Remick, who has battled knee and shoulder injuries all year, were both able to advance.
“It’s probably the best I’ve seen (Van Cura) wrestle this season. All the summer work he’s put in has paid off. He looked like he had something to prove and hopefully he is ready for next week and can bring home a medal,” Riggs said. “Remick, the way he wrestled you couldn’t even tell (that’s he’s been injured) … He’s got a lot of heart … A lot of kids might let a loss or an injury affect their performance but he pushed all of that out of his mind and worked hard and got what he wanted.”
For Batts, who battled his way to a second place finish, this week’s state meet will be the first of his career.
“Last year he didn’t have a good showing at regionals and his main goal was to make it to state and hopefully he can bring home a medal as well,” Riggs said.
Gardner, who comes from a long line of wrestlers, is hoping that he can bring back some hardware in his second trip to state.
“He’s quiet and a lot of people don’t know too much about him … but he’s a force to be reckon with because he’s strong. He goes out there with the attitude that no one can beat him,” Riggs said.
For Giordano, the state appearance is a great way to cap off his Pam Pack career.
“With this being his senior year his main goal was just to make it to state,” Riggs said. “He’s worked his tail off this summer and preseason and he’s one of the leaders on the team and it’s really paid off for him. He’s a leader for us and I think the whole team is excited that he’s making the trip.”