Pam Pack grapplers advance to third round

Published 9:43 pm Monday, January 31, 2022

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The Washington High School wrestling team started the 2A dual team state playoffs with a pair of home victories Monday night, putting them in Wednesday’s third round.

The fourth-seeded Pam Pack dispatched Eastern Plains Conference foe Ayden-Grifton, 47-30 in the first round, then took care of Manteo, 43-24 in the second round.

Christian Price (106 lb.) Isaac Campbell (132), Braxton Woolard (115), Traquan Haywood (170), Jonathan Richardson (220) and DeShawn Smith (285) earned victories on the mat, with the other matches decided by forfeit.

Manteo split the first four matches in the single elimination format before Price, Tanner Moore (120), Woolard and Campbell reeled off four straight decisions to take the lead for good.

Demarius Langley pinned his opponent at 132, Wyatt Campbell earned a decision at 140, then Smith ended the match with a pin, sending the Pack to the third round.

Campbell, a state qualifier as a junior, returned to the mat for the first time in six weeks after injuring his lower back.

“It was beyond terrific to have him back,” coach Chris Penhollow said. “He’s one of our captains and a great leader on and off the mat. I’m happy for him and our team that he’s back. Our guys came ready to wrestle and did well in both matches.”

Wednesday’s third and fourth round opponents and location is still to be determined and the Pack has a chance to host because of a new emphasis on keeping travel to a minimum.

“This is the first year that the state has said the most centrally located team will host and if the top four seeds advance, that would be us,” Penhollow said. “It would be great to wrestle at home for the chance to go to the state championship.”

Bunn is the top seed, followed by Southwest Onslow and Oxford Webb. Wednesday’s site will be announced Tuesday morning.