Plenty left to accomplish for Pam Pack wrestlers

Published 11:26 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

Going into the season, Washington’s top goal was a dual-team state championship. The Pam Pack fell short in a third-round loss to Mt. Pleasant last week, but still has plenty it can accomplish starting at this weekend’s eastern regional at Farmville Central.

In fact, there’s an interesting scenario where Washington can win the only team-based 2-A state championship this season. At the individual state championships next weekend in Greensboro, whichever team scores the highest will be named team champion, too.

Newton-Conover advanced out of the western region of the dual-team playoffs. It went on to edge Carrboro, but forfeited its 2-A dual-team crown shortly thereafter. The title remains vacant instead of going to runner-up Carrboro.

“I think if we can get six or seven on the podium (at the state championship), we can get a state championship this way,” coach Chris Penhollow said. “We would be the only 2-A team state champion if we can somehow get it done at Greensboro. That’s kind of what we’re going to talk about.”

Penhollow believes the Pam Pack can place as many as 10 wrestlers in the top four at regionals, which start Friday. Brody Moore (106 pounds) is seeded fifth, and he beat the fourth-seeded wrestler earlier in the season. Marcus Sneed (113) earned a No. 3 seed. Everybody in the classes between 120 and 145 pounds earned a top-two seed. Drew Ferguson (182) and Logan Nichols (220) both got No. 2 seeds, too.

“We got some really good seeds. A couple were better than I thought,” Penhollow said. “Some coaches have scratched some, some have the flu, others have moved to different weight classes — whatever they can do to get as many into states. I was really pleased with where our kids came out.”

Each of Washington’s top-four seeds will have to wrestle to their potential to advance to the state championship. Penhollow also believes that some of the boys will be able to rise to the occasion and earn some upsets to punch their cards for Greensboro.

The narrow loss to Mt. Pleasant still stings. Instead of harping on it, Washington is trying to use it as motivation moving forward.

“I talked to the guys (Thursday),” Penhollow said. “We kind of screwed up last week and let it get away. But, we can rally and get as many kids to Greensboro as we can.”

In preparing for this weekend, Penhollow and the Pam Pack have focused mostly on reefing their craft. They’re not going to make any drastic changes after the success they’ve had up until this point.

“Staying underneath when we’re on top and work to clean some things up. Back to the basics,” he said. “Some of the guys, they’ll watch videos on YouTube and try to do things a little too fancy, a little too cute. We’ve emphasized the last couple of days just to do basic moves. There are no style points. Get a kid on his back, get his hips turned, pin him and get off the mat.”

Regionals get underway Friday at 6 p.m. at Farmville Central. The first day will wrap up at 10 p.m., and then resume at 9 a.m. on Saturday.