Smith earns top seed as wrestling regionals begin

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Washington’s Bryant Smith is the top seed in the 160 lb. class at the 2A East wrestling regional this weekend at Ayden-Grifton High School.

Southside heavyweight Elyjaih Baldwin is the second seed in the 1A East regional in Asheboro, while sixth-seeded Austin Frazier (160) and Jayvion O’Neal (182) are Northside’s highest seeds.

The top four in each weight class advance to the individual state tournament next weekend in Greensboro.

Other Pam Pack wrestlers in the top four include second seeds Christian Price (106), Braxton Woolard (120), third-seeded TraQuan Haywood (160) and fourth-seeded Sawyer Vosburgh (113), David B. Meza (132) and Gabe Forman (138).

Southside freshman Jonathan Salas is the only other Seahawk seeded in the top 10. He is the seventh seed in the 182 lb. class.

“Jonathan’s strength and quickness will allow him to make a run,” Southside coach Stanley Dixon said. “Elyjaih is in better condition than he was last year and he’s undefeated for the season. It would be great if both of them made the top four.”

Frazier and O’Neal lead a second-year Panther squad, while Faithful Fulcher drew the eighth seed at 126 lbs., Gus Vasant is eighth at 170 and Nick Roberts is 10th at 220 lb.

“Most of our guys were near the bottom of the seeds last year, so to move to the middle shows improvement,” coach Daniel Garcia said. “They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do to improve and the formula for winning is working during practice. We work on making adjustments every day in practice and they are as ready as they can be. I’m excited to see what happens this weekend.”