Vike Grapplers Improve to 5-0 in Conference Matches
The Viking wrestling team took another step toward the 2008 Cape Fear Valley conference regular season championship on Saturday, at Union Pines, defeating the Harnett Central Trojans 66-15 to move to 5-0 in league competition.
The match, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 20, was moved because of Harnett Central's exam schedule.
With the victory, the Vikes are averaging nearly 63 points in conference matches while yielding an average of just 13 points per contest as they continue to cruise along in their conference campaign.
The win over Harnett Central was just one of three dual matches the Vikes claimed in the Union Pines Duals.
The Vikes defeated 1A Chatham Central, 50-24, and 4A Richmond Senior, 62-15.
In the Saturday finals, Union Pines faced a stern test as it battled Parkland High, the 2007 and 2008 3A Dual State Champions from Winston-Salem.
Although the Vikes fell to Parkland 44-12, Union Pines' head coach Matt Ragsdale was encouraged by the way his wrestlers battled the two-time defending state champs.
"I believe Parkland is the best team in the state regardless of (school) classification," Ragsdale said, "and will be a heavy favorite to win another state title this season. We wrestled them very tough."
While the Vikings did lose by a decided margin, the 44 points scored against Union Pines was the lowest total turned in by Parkland all season against any team in the state. After collecting first place honors in the event, Parkland is now 24-0. Union Pines is currently 19-7 overall on the year.
Ragsdale is also very proud of his junior varsity grapplers.
"The JV guys step in and wrestle very hard whenever we ask them to," said Ragsdale. "These guys are the future of Union Pines' wrestling."
Next up for Union Pines' wrestling is the Sarah Wilkes Tournament, in Eden, at Morehead High School.
The two-day event begins Friday at 5 p.m. and runs through Saturday afternoon, with wrestling starting at 9 a.m.
"This tournament is the toughest one we go to in January," Ragsdale said, "so we like the test and cannot wait to hit the mat."
Contact F.W. Manning II at 639-5481 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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