UP Wrestlers Ranked 2nd
Just two weeks into the Cape Fear Valley Conference regular season, Union Pines' wrestling team has emerged as a legitimate Class 3A contender.
With a record of 12-1 in dual competition, the Viking grapplers are currently ranked second in the ncwrestlingscoutreport.com Class 3A poll behind only Orange High School (9-0).
Union Pines made a solid showing against top-tier competition Saturday at the Western Harnett Duals, finishing 4-1. The Vikes soundly defeated last year's South Carolina 1A state champion, Chesterfield, by a score of 42-13, and also beat Northwood 75-3, Triton 72-6 and Lee Senior High 78-6.
Union Pines also took its first loss of the season to Class 4A power Cary by a 32-21 score in a dual that featured three overtime matches. Cary (12-0), which is ranked second in the current Class 4A poll, boasts a 122-match winning streak and has won three consecutive Class 4A state championships. The Imps went undefeated at the event and dealt Chesterfield a 33-27 loss.
Union Pines' Mike Brennan won all of his matches to run his individual season record to 15-0. Kaleb Rierson, who has a 15-1 record at 215 pounds, and Graham Haulsee, who is 16-2 at 189 pounds, also went undefeated on Saturday.
Tonight, the Viking grapplers take on Gray's Creek in a conference dual match starting at 7 p.m.
It promises to be a special night as Santa Clause is scheduled to make an appearance. Parents can bring children to visit Santa at Bob Ward Gymnasium on the UPHS campus starting at 6:15 p.m.
Also, tonight's match will again be broadcast live on mooresportsradio.com.
"The really special part of this is, we have several dads deployed overseas," said Vike head coach Matt Ragsdale. "Last week they were able to get up at 4 a.m. in Afghanistan and listen to their son or family member wrestling in a match live, and it thrills me that they will get that chance again tonight."
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