Vikings Face Pa. Grapplers Tonight
The Union Pines wrestling team is hosting two Pennsylvania high schools in a double dual tonight starting at 5 p.m. on the mat at Bob Ward Gymnasium in Cameron.
“This is a pretty unique event,” said Viking head coach Matt Ragsdale. “Pennsylvania is considered the premier state in wrestling — Upper Dauphin is undefeated and Columbia is a solid squad, as well — so it should be a great night of wrestling for our fans, and some very sturdy competition for us as a dual team, which we always welcome.”
According to Ragsdale, Union Pines (4-5, 2-0 in CFVC) was able to pick up the dual because Upper Dauphin (6-0) and Columbia (1-1) high schools are traveling through the state for a tournament and decided to stop in at Union Pines to take part in the special event.
“Each team and wrestlers can only wrestle a certain amount of times each week, in accordance with state commission bylaws,” said Ragsdale. “So Union Pines will wrestle both schools, but the two Pennsylvania schools will not be able to compete against each other in a dual. Even so it is a great opportunity for our program and we are pleased it could work out.”
With the competition being the last home event for Union Pines before Christmas, a special guest will be on hand. That’s right the jolliest of elves himself — the one and only— Santa Claus will be on hand at the event to pose for photos with children and spread some holiday cheer.
The Vikings are coming off an impressive sixth-place finish as a team last weekend at the WRAL Invitational in Raleigh.
“Our guys did a fantastic job to end up in sixth place out of 36 teams,” said Ragsdale. “As a squad we finally have everyone back and healthy in our lineup and this performance was really an encouraging one.
Union Pines’ sixth-place finish was the best of any 3-A school at the tournament. Vike senior Michael Brennan won his second WRAL title at the event, by defeating Alex Brunsman of Parkland in the 182-pound finals with a 7-3 decision. Senior Jaiden Lindsey was the Vikings other placer, finishing third in the 126-pound division.
“We had a total team effort to score 101 points and I could not be more proud of the way our guys wrestled,” said Ragsdale.
Jefferson High School out of Georgia won the championship with a tally of 256.
Perennial N.C. state power Parkland placed second with 215.5, and Ocean Lakes from Virgina scored 173 points to finish third.
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