Pam Pack wrestlers ready for regionals

Published 3:42 am Friday, February 13, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
Expectations have never been higher for the Pam Pack wrestling team.
Washington will send 11 wrestlers to today’s NCHSAA Class 3A East Region Wrestling Championships and coach Danny Riggs believes that more than half his squad has a great chance of making it to the state meet.
“We should get at least five guys to states,” Riggs said. “Gabe Gardner (130), Darien Peele (152), ‘Weasel’ Moore (171), Johnnie Smallwood (189) and Marquin Hill (285) should all get there and if Josh Stone steps it up at 140, he’s got a chance to make it. We’re really excited to get there and wrestle and see what we can do.”
As for the team standings, Riggs is hoping to secure his second top-five at regionals.
Moore, who won last year’s 160-pound East Region title, enters the tournament as the Pam Pack’s lone top seed. Moore enters the tournament with a 40-1 record and is currently ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 3A at 171 pounds.
Gardner, who set the Pam Pack’s school record for wins in a season last week when he scored his 42nd victory, is seeded second at 135 pounds behind C.B. Aycock’s Brandon Bailey (43-4).
Peele (37-11), Smallwood (33-5) and Hill (28-5) are all No. 3 seeds.
Peele (152) is third behind No. 1 seed Terrance Zaleski (40-6) of White Oak and West Brunswick’s Deven Ruane (29-6). Peele already decisioned Zaleski earlier this season.
Smallwood (189) is seeded behind No. 1 seed Joey Moreno (20-2) of West Brunswick and Currituck’s Seth Brinkley (46-5), while Hill is ranked behind the state’s top heavyweight Charlie Millea (37-3) of Havelock and West Brunswick’s Dee Kent (17-3).
At 140 pounds, Washington’s Josh Stone (25-15) will be seeded sixth, while 125-pounder Matthew Williamitis (9-7) earned a No. 9 seed. Daniel Garcia (13-9 at 112 pounds) and Michael Goldberg (11-10 at 160 pounds) are both seeded 10th, while Michael Smith (11-12 at 145 pounds) is seeded 11th and Timmy Tetterton (8-12 at 130 pounds) will enter the meet as a No. 15 seed.
The East Regionals will begin tonight at 5:30 p.m. at South Central High School in Greenville and will continue throughout the day on Saturday.