Pam Pack make state duals
Published 1:23 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009
By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
Before the season started, Washington wrestling coach Dan Riggs had his wrestlers lay out their goals for this season.
The No. 1 goal on almost everyone’s list: make the state dual tournament.
On Monday, the Pam Pack accomplished its main objective as Washington learned that it had secured the final wild card spot into the NCHSAA Class 3A Dual Team Championships.
It’s the first time in more than a decade that the Pam Pack (24-8) have reached the state dual tournament.
The Pack will hit the road tonight as it travels to Wilson-Hunt to take on the Warriors (8-10) in the opening round. Washington defeated Hunt 40-33 on Dec. 20.
For senior 135-pounder Gabe Gardner, there’s a lot more riding on his match. Gardner (40-6) will square off with either the Warriors’ Bradley Williams (16-8) or Ben Davis (2-7) with a chance to match Gerald Lawrence’s school record of 41 wins in a season.
Gardner’s not the only one chasing down Lawrence’s mark. Junior Justin “Weasel” Moore, who is on pace to become the Pam Pack’s career leader in wins, will go in search of his 39th win of the year in the 189-pound matchup.
Washington will send four others to the mat, that have scored at least 20 wins this season: 189/215-pounder Johnnie Smallwood (31-5), 152-pounder Darien Peele (35-11), heavyweight Marquin Hill (27-5) and 140-pounder Josh Stone (24-14).
By contrast, the Warriors have had no wrestler reach the 20-win plateau. Wilson-Hunt is led by 130-pounder David High (19-5), Williams (16-8), 103-pounder Jake Britt (15-9) and 215-pounder Kenneth Hurtling (15-8).
If the Pam Pack can pull off a victory, they’ll take of the winner of Havelock (24-2) and Union Pines (20-8) in tonight’s nightcap.
Washington has yet to face Union Pines, but lost to the Rams 42-22 last week.
Union Pines is led by 130-pounder Trey Weliver (44-4), 215-pounder Kaleb Rierson (37-9), 152-pounder matt Lester (39-17) and 125-pounder Randy Stevens (36-10).
The Rams are paced by 103-pounder Matt Bogard, 189-pounder Maurice Greene (41-13), 119-pounder Christian Holleman (41-12), 130-pounder Michael Newby (39-16), 125-pounder David Stone (22-4) and heavyweight Charlie Millea (33-3).