Washington wrestling sweeps Saleeby Dual Team Tournament

Published 4:35 pm Monday, December 30, 2019

The Pam Pack continues to perform well on the mats. They defeated Southside, Pasquotank, Northside-Jacksonville and Topsail on Saturday morning into the afternoon at Washington High School.

The Saleeby Dual Tournament entered its 15th year in 2019, and is representative of the Saleeby family.

Dan Riggs, former wrestling coach at Washington High School, had one of his wrestlers, Eli Saleeby, killed in a car accident while skipping school in April of 2005. His mother, Elizabeth Saleeby, wanted to make the tournament a memorial for her son and reach out to kids about making good decisions in their lives. Elizabeth was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away in November of 2016.

Since then, head wrestling coach Chris Penhollow changed the name from the “Eli Saleeby tournament”, to just “Saleeby.” This way, they could memorialize the entire family that devoted so much to Washington wrestling.

In 2019, the Pam Pack came away victorious despite having three starters out and being forced to wrestle up one weight class, according to Penhollow.

“For having three guys out, we responded well. We had to wrestle up and I liked how we performed. It’s the second year in a row that we’ve won it. We lost the previous two years to Cary in the finals,” Penhollow said. “Once we got our football guys in place we’ve gone on a pretty good run. In our sport, what matters is how you finish in your conference, and we’ve won both of our conference matches so far. We’ll face our next two conference opponents after the New Year. The top two teams get into the playoffs, but we want that No. 1 seed.”

FIRST-PLACE: The Pam Pack pose with their first-place plaque on Saturday afternoon. They won the Saleeby Dual tournament for the second year in a row. (Submitted by Coach Chris Penhollow)

Christian Whitney, who won all four of his matches on Saturday, was excited about his performance.

“(The transition) moving up weight classes was kind of hard at first, but I got back in shape and it’s been a lot easier for me. Being in coach (Alex) Heck’s class has been getting me right,” Whitney said. “The season has gone well for me so far, but I have to continue to keep getting in shape and working on my conditioning so I can last all three rounds.”

After defeating their first three opponents, Washington faced off with Topsail for the first-place plaque of the tournament. In a very competitive match, the Pam Pack prevailed with a 42-36 victory.

Brodie Moore pinned his opponent in 19 seconds, while Mykell Warren, Adam Bonner, Hayden Anderson, Josh White, Walt Gerard and Whitney all won by pin. Isaac Campbell defeated his opponent with a 5-3 decision after six minutes.

SWEEP: Washington’s Brodie Moore gets one of his four wins on Saturday with a pin of his Northside-Jacksonville opponent in the Saleeby Dual tournament at Washington. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)

“To be honest, I was just ready to go out there today and get it done and over with,” Campbell said after his first match of the day that he won. “I gained a lot of weight in the offseason and got some more strength. I need to get a little bit stronger and work on my conditioning more as well.”

The Pam Pack will travel to another event this weekend at North Brunswick, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.