Pam Pack cruises at Charger Duals

Published 6:19 pm Saturday, January 3, 2015

AYDEN — The Washington wrestling team took first place at the Charger Duals at Ayden Grifton High School on Saturday morning, winning all four of its dual meets.

Head coach Chris Penhollow had his team firing on all cylinders following the long break, as the Pam Pack secured double-digit victories over Pasquotank County, East Carteret, Bunn and Ayden-Grifton.

“The kids we put out there were aggressive and we wrestled really well,” Penhollow said. “They’re feeling really good right now. We have some confidence and it starts building.”

Washington routed an underrepresented Pasquotank County, 78-6, due to 11 forfeits, but in the three matches that took place, Andrew Ferguson, Anthony Bonner and Justin Shaw all pinned their opponents in the first period. Even with two starters out, Washington’s numbers proved to be the difference early on.

East Carteret served as Washington’s most competitive meet of the day (51-29). After dropping its first three matches via pin, the Pam Pack powered back with seven-straight individual wins — three forfeits, pins by Kyle Krajewski, Marcus Sneed and Simeon Pope and a hard-earned 12-11 decision by Jacob Smith over the Mariners’ Isaiah Jones.

“The guys are buying in and working hard, getting great instruction,” Penhollow said. “I keep telling them how lucky we are to have a couple of guys who have both made it to states.”

Washington defeated Bunn, 51-21, in a meet that featured three matches that went the distance. Krajewski pinned Adam Black in the 220-pound class and Lane Jackson followed with a 10-7 victory over Omar Rosa in the 285-pound class. Smith also had another close match, knocking off Jakel Lawrence, 8-4, while Pope pinned his opponent in 54 seconds.

Against the host Ayden-Grifton, Ian Stroud, Krajewski, Neill Jennings, Cameron Davenport, Mitchell Cobb, Andrew Ferguson and Raekwon Ross all pinned Chargers. Austin Coward won via a 16-6 decision.

“They showed up every day this week when everyone else was on break. They showed up Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday this week,” Penhollow said. “That says a lot for a kid to give up seven days off on Christmas break. (They’re) good quality kids that care and are willing to come, drill and work and it’s beginning to show on the mat.”

With the win, Washington improves to 13-1 this season, a start that so far has exceeded Penhollow’s initial expectations.

“I didn’t expect it. We’re a lot deeper and more athletic than what I thought, based on what I saw on this team last year and what they were losing. We’re above and beyond what I thought we’d be,” he said.

Washington will host East Duplin and Tarboro on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.