UP Grapplers Take Tourney Win
The Union Pines wrestling team opened the new year with a bang, going 5-0 at the South View Duals Saturday against an impressive slate of 4A schools.
The Vikes defeated Terry Sanford 70-6, South View 50-21, Jack Britt 35-30, Pine Forest 63-15 and Purnell Sweat 72-6 at the event.
With the five-dual sweep, Union Pines is now 19-1 on the season and undefeated against 3A competition. As a team, the Vikes are ranked second in North Carolina Wrestling Scout Report's 3A poll.
Last Wednesday, fresh off claiming the championship in the prestigious Tiger Holiday Classic, the Union Pines grapplers grabbed one more win when they defeated Ragsdale High 53-12.
The dual took place at the UNCG invitational in Greensboro. Ragsdale High has won five state wrestling championships under current head coach Andy Chappel. The 2009 UNCG invitational featured 16 elite high school wrestling programs spanning all stretches of the nation.
"It is always an honor when your team is invited to participate in an event of this scope and magnitude," said Ragsdale. "It was also great for our boys from an experience standpoint, because this year's NCHSAA wrestling championships are being held at the same venue. Our guys were able to get a preview of what it feels like to walk out of the tunnel into that huge, open arena. Now when the time comes for us to come back here in a few months, our boys will have that added advantage of being familiar with what the atmosphere is all about."
In an added bonus, the team was able to watch the first- and second-ranked NCAA Division I 125-pounders square off in a showcase match.
Union Pines' current top wrestler records by class include: freshmen - Blake Muse (17-7, 140-pounds), Adrian Soto-Perez (17-5, 145); sophomore - Mike Brennan (25-3, 160); juniors - Brandon Berry (19-5, 119), Danny Deardorff (17-6, 125), Kelvin Morrison (22-7, 152), Chris Rubinosky (24-7, 135); seniors - Graham Haulsee (24-6, 189), Seth Kosem (24-5, 112), Marquis McKinney (19-5, 285). Kaleb Rierson (26-2, 215), Randy Stevens (24-4, 130).
Up next the Vike grapplers return to league action, as they travel to Lillington tonight to tangle with the Western Harnett Eagles in a Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference dual match scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
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