Pack, Panthers qualify for wrestling state tournament, WHS has six conference champions

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023

Washington High School is the third seed for the 2A state wrestling team tournament that starts Saturday. Northside is the 14th seed in 1A.

Wrestling is also an individual sport and six Pam Pack grapplers earned conference titles Wednesday at North Pitt.

The third-seeded Pack will host the first and second rounds of the team state tournament Saturday at 3 p.m.

14th-seeded Bartlett Yancey of Yanceyville is the first round opponent, while #6 Heide Trask takes on #11 West Craven.

The winners meet in the second round after a break Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a four-team pod and it’s always nice to host,” WHS coach Chris Penhollow said. “We should be fine as long as we show up and take care of our business.”

Bunn drew the top seed in the East for the second straight year, while Southwest Onslow is the second seed and the Pack’s third round opponent if they advance.

The highest remaining seed will host the third and fourth rounds Wednesday night and that’s where Washington’s season ended last year.

“Bunn got us at their place in the third round, then beat us 42-40 at home early this year,” Penhollow said. Southwest Onslow is always tough, but we have to get there first.”

Wednesday’s winner will claim the East title and compete for the 2A state championship February 4 in Greensboro.

Northside will make its second straight 1A state team tournament appearance as the 14thseed.

The third-year program will travel to third-seeded Thomasville Saturday.

“We were the last team in last year, so being 14th is progress,” Northside coach Daniel Garcia said. “It will be another great learning experience for our guys and we will compete the best we can. Thomasville has a stout program traditionally and it will be another chance to show our guys what they should be working toward.”

Meanwhile six WHS wrestler’s collected gold medals at the Eastern Plains Conference Individual meet at North Pitt.

Christian Price (106 lbs.), David Meza (132), Gabe Forman (138), Wyatt Campbell (152), TraQuan Haywood (160) and Kahlil Rogers (170) won titles, while Braxton Woolard (113), Sawyer Vosburgh (120), Tate Tucker (126), Evan Makepeace (145) and DaShawn Smith (220) finished second.

Sophomore Gabe Davis is out for the season with a knee injury and Bryant Smith was ill and didn’t wrestle.

“We had 13 guys who competed and 11 of them won or finished second,” Penhollow said. “I’m proud of the way we competed and am looking forward to our team matches Saturday.”

Penhollow was voted the EPC coach of the year as the Pack extended its string of conference titles to nine straight.