Two Pam Pack wrestlers place at NCHSAA Individual State TournamentPublished 5:18pm Sunday, February 23, 2014
Head coach Daniel Riggs sent five Pam Pack wrestlers compete in the 2014 NCHSAA Individual State Tournament over the weekend, and when the dust settled, two were left standing on the podium.
Jake Smith, Jason Gardner, Thomas Remick, Kyle Krajewski and Devon Van Cura made the trip to Greensboro to represent Beaufort County’s only high school wrestling team.
Smith and Krajewski both made early exits. In the 106-pound weight class, Smith dropped to West Lincoln’s Jake Clary in the first round on a 14-6 decision. He failed to advance in the consolation round.
Krajewski lost a close match in the first round of the 220-pound weight class, falling to Thomasville’s Keith Clemmons, 6-5. After advancing in the consolation round on a forfeit, he would fall to North Surry’s Cody Slate, who eventually finished sixth overall.
Jason Gardner lost his first match in the first round of the 126-pound weight class, but refused to be denied a spot on the podium. Gardner went on to defeat Franklin’s Chris Richard, 12-7, Newton Conover’s Coleman Carter, 11-5 and Dixon’s Zach Kahl on a forfeit, before eventually falling to Carrboro’s Stephen Dreher, the third-place finisher. Gardner took sixth place and became the first Washington wrestler to secure a spot on the podium.
In the 160-pound weight class, expectations were high for Thomas Remick heading into the state tournament. Remick defeated Durham’s Diego Terron in the first round, 5-3, but couldn’t close against Thomasville’s Evan Makupson in overtime, 8-6. The Washington senior’s high school career came to an end at the hands of Owen’s Ezekiel Johnson, who defeated Remick in another close decision, 13-12.
All eyes were on Washington undefeated wrestler Devon Van Cura, and he would perform as advertised. In the 170-pound weight class, Van Cura defeated Surry Central’s Zack Martin authoritatively, 12-4, before beating Bunker Hill’s Codie Shook in a close 8-7 decision.
Matched up against the No. 1 seed, undefeated West Davidson wrestler Shane Hemmings, Van Cura was faced with his toughest task all season, but he delivered, pinning Hemmings in 1:23.
With the win, Van Cura got Bandys’ Andrew Brotherton in the finals. It took up until the very last match, but Van Cura’s storybook undefeated season finally came to an end, losing to Brotherton, 7-2, securing the east regional champion a second-place finish.
With 10 seniors on his roster, including Van Cura, Remick and Gardner, Riggs will look for new leadership heading into next season.