Smith continues wrestling career

Published 12:28 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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After a close loss to Seaforth HS of Siler City in the 2A East finals and a strong showing in the individual state tournament, three Washington High School wrestlers will continue their careers in college.

Bryant Smith signed with Ferrum (Va.) College, Christian Price will compete for Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. and TraQuon Haywood will wrestle at Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL.

“It’s the first time I’ve had one guy go on to wrestle in college, much less three,” 11th year head coach Chris Penhollow said. “They’ve all worked hard and have earned the opportunity.”

Smith finished second at the 2A individual state tournament in the 157 lb. class to cap a senior season in which he earned his 100th career victory.

“Those were my two high school highlights for sure,” Smith said. “We had a great season team-wise and we almost made to the finals, then to get there as an individual was also really cool. I’m looking forward to seeing what college wrestling is like.”

Ferrum College is Division III program that competes in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference with Greensboro (NC) College, Washington & Lee, Averett and Roanoke College from Virginia and several other schools.

“I’ve been locked in on them for a while now and didn’t really look anywhere else,” Smith said. “They’ve been checking on me since my sophomore year and showed me they really wanted me. I like the campus and am excited for the opportunity.”

Smith was part of the first wrestling program at P.S. Jones Middle School and wrestled all four years at WHS. He was fifth in the state individual meet his junior year before his second place finish this season. He was a four-time state qualifier and won multiple regional and conference titles.

“I’m looking forward to doing something not everyone can do, which is play a college sport,” Smith said. “I like the challenge aspect of it and I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed. Coach (Carl) Perry and coach Penhollow have helped me a lot and I’m grateful to them for making me better. My confidence has grown a lot since my freshman year and I’m looking forward to the challenge of wrestling at the next level.”

Articles on Haywood and Price will appear in upcoming editions of the Washington Daily News and online at