Pack pins down Senior Night victory|Washington’s Hill ups record to 20-0

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, January 6, 2011

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
The Pam Pack wrestling team made its last appearance at Washington High School a memorable one as Washington topped Coastal Conference foe White Oak for a 50-26 Senior Nigh victory on Wednesday.
Appropriately enough, Washington’s star wrestler and defending state champion Marquin Hill wrestled in the final match and capped off the night by pinning the Vikings Chase Capp to up his record to a perfect 20-0 on the season.
“It means a lot to get a win on Senior Night,” Hill said. “You’re wrestling not only for your self but for all the seniors that graduated before you like all the greats such as Gerald Lawrence and Justin “Weasel” Moore and all them guys. When we are out here wrestling we are representing them and ourselves.”
Hill, who credited coach Daniel Riggs for his success along with the help of Kaitlyn Banks, said he embraces his leadership role.
“It feels good, I love sharing my knowledge with everybody else,” Hill said. “I feel great about this team. It’s a good young team and in the next two years they are going to be really good.”
Hill, along with fellow seniors Michael Gardner, Matt Williamitis, Thomas Sutton, Bryant Gardner and Raphael Gibbs where honored before the match started.
Michael Gardner won his match by topping Jake Pratner, while Williamitis pinned Coleman Jones to pick up senior Night victories, along with Thomas Sutton who won via forfeit. Gibbs nearly won his match as he was tied after three rounds, but fell in an extra fourth round.
For the Pam Pack, Wednesday’s win was its first Coastal Conference victory of the season and it came at a great time.
“Getting a win is always a good thing and we were able to get our first conference win on Senior Night,” Riggs said. “Some of the guys showed up. I was a little disappointed with the team score, I felt we should have won a little more comfortably. I think the guys might have been thinking a little too much about Senior Night, but, we got our first conference win of the year and the first win on Senior Night in my five years of coaching here.”
Riggs said he is extremely proud of his seniors.
“This senior class is very hard working and dedicated to the sport,” Riggs said. “I wish some of them would have been starters for me for more than just this year -some of them just started this year like Raphael – but they stuck with it for all four years and I will miss them. Before they got on the mat I told them to leave it all out there because it is the last time they will be stepping on the mat on their home court.”
Jason Gardner got Washington off to a good start as he won the first match of the night which was followed by Pack victories by David Giordano and Samuel Grist won via forfeit.
After that, Brandon Cutler and Matthew Stone each fell before Michael Gardner, Williamitis and Sutton ripped off three straight wins.
From there, Washington struggled as Devon Van Cura, Ned Batts and Jack Rodman each lost their matches as the Vikings cut the Pam Pack’s lead to 38-26.
Dylan Cutler stopped the bleeding as he gutted out his match and pinned his opponent in the fourth round. After Cutler’s win, Hill closed out the night with his pin of Capps.
“I was very pleased with Dylan Cutler,” Riggs said. “Over the Christmas break we had two weeks of practice and he has been in there every day working hard and asking questions about what he needs to do to be better and he went out there and got a pin for the team.”
Washington (9-8, 1-3) will be back in action this weekend when it wrestles in a tournament at C.B. Aycock.