Six Patriot Wrestlers Earn State 4-A Top-10 Rankings
The Pinecrest wrestling team has been busy this month preparing for some major tournaments this holiday season with some out-of-conference duals in Lake Norman and Wadesboro.
The Patriots participated in the Wildcat Duals on Dec. 1 at Lake Norman High School against five other high schools, including some from out of state. Pinecrest defeated Anson High School 75-3 in a team dual on Dec. 5.
Pinecrest proved to worthy of having six starters currently ranked in the top 10 in the state 4-A classification with its convincing win over 3-A Anson. Senior Luke Fetla (11-0 record on the season) is ranked No. 1 in the 220-pound weight class, while junior captain Dallas Roemer (10-1) is the No. 2 ranked wrestler at 138 pounds, and sophomore Irvin Enriquez (11-0) is ranked No. 3 at 113.
Patriot junior Rider Excell (5-1) is ranked No. 7 at 160, and senior Sawyer Bateman (6-5) is ranked No. 8 at 145. Rounding out the six Patriot wrestlers ranked is senior captain Ryan McGuire (5-2), ranked No. 10 at 170 pounds.
In the win over Anson, those six and Greg Mello, Alex Ngyen, Mario Contreras and Bryson Thomas all picked up points for the Patriots.
The Patriots finished the Wildcat tournament with a 3-2 team record, scoring wins over Davie, Newton Conover and Jay M. Robinson high schools. They lost to Christianburg and Gilmore County.
In a 46-36 loss to Christianburg, Pinecrest fell behind 28-0 before they put 12 points on the board with a forfeit at 160 and a pin at 170 by senior Jonah Caliri, but those points were negated with two pin losses at 182 and 195.
The Pats were able to gain some traction when Fetla and James Halligan earned pins at 220 and 285, respectively. The Patriots cut the lead to four points when Enriquez pinned Jacob Cunningham at 113, to go along with a forfeit at 106. Christianburg closed out the 10-point win by getting six points from a forfeit at 120.
Pinecrest beat Davie High School 42-33, starting with a quick pin by Enriquez over Lake Billings at 113.
Davie got the next 18 points when the Pats gave up forfeits at 120 and 126 and a pin at 132. Patriot captains Dallas Roemer, at 132, and Mario Contreras, at 145, tied the score at 18-18 with pins.
Bateman earned six points at 152 for Pinecrest by pinning Joshua Lankford, then Excell, at 160, and Caliri, at 170, put up three team points each with decision wins, giving the Pats a 12-point lead.
Davie won the next nine points with a decision at 182 and a pin at 195 before Fetla earned six points for Pinecrest by pinning Parker Correll at 220. The Patriots took a loss at 285, but finished strong with a pin at 106 by Ngyen over Isaiah Whitley to win the dual by nine.
The Patriots led a tight dual against Gilmore County before giving up the last three weight classes with two forfeits and a pin, resulting in a 40-28 loss.
Roemer won an 8-1 decision at 138, then Gilmore County earned four with a major decision win at 145. Pinecrest won the next four matches and another 13 points when Bateman beat Jake Wheeler 11-5 at 152, Excell beat Jaime Lopez 9-0 at 160, Caliri beat Dillon Sanford at 170, and senior captain Ryan McGuire beat Jared Sweat 11-4 at 182.
The Pats took a loss at 195 before Fetla earned six points for the Patriots at 220 with a pin. Pinecrest gave up the team lead when Gilmore County got pins at 285 and 106. Enriquez pinned Trevor Preece at 113, giving the Patriots a four-point lead, but Patriot forfeits at 120 and 126, and a pin loss at 132 allowed Gilmore to claim the win.
Facing off against Newton Conover, the Patriots 41-27 win began when they got a forfeit at 106 and a 10-3 decision win by Enriquez over Austin Klutz at 113.
Pinecrest gave a six-point lead to its opponents with forfeits at 120 and 126, and a pin loss at 132, but were back in the lead by one point when Roemer won a 10-2 major decision over Joseph Lail at 132 and Contreras pinned Casey Toomey at 145.
Newton Conover enjoyed a brief lead after an 8-4 decision win at 152, then the Pats maintained an edge for the rest of the dual. Excell won an 8-4 decision over Kyle Toomey at 160, Caliri won a 7-4 decision over Rolen Benson at 170, and McGuire won a 19-8 major decision over Edgar Dominguez at 182. Pinecrest gave up a pin, but not the lead, at 195, and finished strong with pins at 220 and 285 by Fetla and Halligan, respectively.
The Pats last match of the Wildcat Duals was a close 40-38 win over Jay M. Robinson. Pinecrest gave up the first 18 points with forfeits at 120 and 126, and a pin loss at 132. They posted 12 points for themselves with a forfeit for Roemer at 138 and a pin by Contreras at 145. Robinson widened its lead over the Patriots by 14 with a tech fall at 152 and a 7-2 decision win at 160.
Pinecrest earned their chance in the sun with their own eight-point lead when Caliri beat Andrew Stewart with a 16-5 major decision, McGuire earned a forfeit at 182, junior Chase Patton pinned Harrison Marchese at 195 and Fetla earned a forfeit at 220. The Pats were again trailing after two pin losses at 285 and 106, but were able to surge back for the team win when Enriquez pinned Michael Fernez at 113.
Pinecrest returns to competition when it travels to Purnell Swett Dec. 16 for its first Southeastern Conference meet of the season.
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