Union Pines Grapplers Off to Fast Start
The Union Pines wrestling team opened its season with a pair of dual victories against top-five teams Wednesday in Asheboro.
After knocking off Trinity —the top-ranked 2A team in the state according to retrorankings.com — by a tally of 40-23 in their season opener, the Vikes then topped fifth-ranked 3A Southwestern Randolph 49-22.
“It was a great night,” Union Pines head coach Matt Ragsdale said. “We wrestled really well. Both matches were exciting and very intense, especially with it being so early in the season. The gym was packed with fans that really loved wrestling and that added to the excitement.”
Ragsdale feels whenver the Vikes are facing top level teams, the focus has to be on picking up bonus points by winning matches via major decisions, technical falls and falls (or pins.)
“Our wrestlers are very knowledgeable of this,” said Ragsdale. “For instance, when wrestling Trinity we only won eight of the 14 matches, but we scored bonus points in six of them. Out of those six bonus-point matches five were pins, so that was 30 of our 40 points right there.”
Taylor Walker had a sterling night in his Viking varsity debut, with two pins at the 130-pound slot in the Union Pines lineup.
“Taylor has been on our jayvee team for two years behind some of our best wrestlers,” said Ragsdale. “I would not be surprised to see him on the podium at the state tournament because he certainly has the potential.”
Union Pines is now 2-0 on the year and remains second in the coaches’ dual team 3A poll.
The Vikes are the top-rated 3A tournament team, according to retrorankings.com, and Ragsdale felt his team’s performance proved all the hard work is paying off for the Vikings.
“I expect Trinity to win the 2A state tournament,” Ragsdale said, “and Southwestern Randolph should be in the hunt in the 3A ranks, so this was an encouraging way for us to get our season started.”
Union Pines hosts Pinecrest in a dual match Thursday, with the time of the match now set for 6:30 p.m.
The Vikings were back in Asheboro Saturday for an individual tournament hosted by Southwestern Randolph.
Contact F.W. Manning at email@example.com.
Union Pines 40 Trinity 23
125: B. Berry (U) pinned B. Simmons 3:45; 130: T. Walker (U) pinned B. Sparks 3:00; 135: J. Anders (T) DEC over C. Rubinosky 7-2; 140: C. Bruce (T) DEC over D. Deardorff 9-7; 145: A. Guevara (T) MAJ DEC over B. Muse 16-2; 152: A. Soto-Perez (U) pinned D. Helmstetler 1:10; 160: K. Morrison, (U), pinned J. Shives 1:11; 171: J. Bartram, (U) DEC A. Hill 7-3. 189: M. Brennan (U) MAJ DEC over J. Boost 17-5; 215: C. King, (T), MAJ DEC over J. Huskey 18-4; 285: Z. McNeil, (T) forfeit win; 103: D. Utt, (U), forfeit win; 112: B. Hornbaker, (U), DEC over V. Vasquez, (T) 6-4; 119: T. Myers, (T) DEC over P. Mondi 3-1.
Union Pines 49, S.W. Randolph 22
130: T. Walker (U) pinned T. Loutzenheiser 1:23; 135: C. Rubinosky (U) pinned T. Hunt 2:34; 140: D. Deardorff, (U) pinned D. Myers 2:45; 145: J. Anderson (S) DEC over B. Muse 6-1. 152: A. Soto-Perez (U) pinned D. Brown, S 1:12; 160: K. Morrison (U) pinned J. Billings 4:12; 171: J. Bartram (U) MAJ DEC over M. Berry 15-2; 189: M. Brennan (U) pinned T. Robbins1:11; 215: E. Jarrell (S) DEC over J. Huskey 8-1; 285: J. Ortiz (S) pinned J. McGowan 0:54; 103: B. Taylor (S) MAJ DEC over D. Utt 11-2 112: S. Taylor (S) pinned B. Hornbaker 4:54; 119: P. Mondi (U) DEC over R. Lucas 2-1; 125: B. Berry (U) forfeit win.
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