Gardner, Remick place 16th at state

Published 6:25 pm Saturday, February 25, 2012

Their trip to the Greensboro Coliseum may not have lasted as long as they wanted it to but there’s a good chance that both Jason Gardner and Thomas Remick will be back sooner rather than later.
Just sophomores, the Washington wrestling duo made their first ever appearance in the NCHSAA 3-A state meet in the Greensboro Coliseum and both had trouble overcoming rookie jitters as they each went 0-2 and to finish the season ranked 16th in the state.
“I’m not disappointed at their performance because they made it to the state meet but you could definitely tell with it being their first trip there that they were very nervous,” Washington coach Daniel Riggs said. “They were pretty disappointed at the outcome but I’m trying to keep their heads positive and told them that they have two more years to wrestling in the state tournament and I’m proud they made it this far.”
The tournament began on Thursday and both Gardner (113-pound division) and Remick (145) were received a rude welcome as both were pinned in their state debut.
Both Gardner, who has watched his brothers Bryant and Gabe perform at state meets in the past for the Pam Pack, and Remick were both a little overwhelmed on Day 1 but settled down as the tourney went on.
“Jason didn’t seem as nervous as Thomas did because for Thomas it was his first trip there and he’s never been in an arena that big. As soon as we pulled up to the stadium he got a little wide-eyed,” Riggs said. “Jason wasn’t as overwhelmed because he had been there before but there is a big difference between sitting in the bleachers and actually wrestling on the mats.”
On the second day, the duo settled down and fought through all three rounds of their respective matches before being eliminated.
“On the second day I told them to go out there and wrestle like it’s your last match. They had nothing to lose and they went out there and tried their best,” Riggs said. “They didn’t’ seem as nervous because the first one was out of the way and the first match is always the toughest one.”
Riggs said he was encouraged by the fact that Gardner and Remick stepped up their effort on the second day and said that the experience they earned this year will pay dividends in the future.
“They were both great leaders on this team. Heading into the season we had no returning state qualifiers from the year before. They really worked hard and it paid off with their first trip to the state tournament,” Riggs said. “Next year, knowing that I have two state qualifiers back I can see big things happening for them as well as the team.”