Union Pines Wrestlers Take Aim at Conference Tourney
The Union Pines wrestling team put the capper on its third straight 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference championship Wednesday in Cameron with a 60-18 league dual win over Westover.
With the home victory, the Vikings wrapped up their league campaign with a 6-0 record in CFVC dual competition.
Union Pines, which has not lost a conference dual over its three-season span as the CFVC champion, hosts the conference championship Saturday at Bob Ward Gymnasium.
The event’s format is an individual tournament where CFVC champions will be crowned in the NCHSAA’s 14 recognized weight classes including 106 pounds, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.
Weigh-ins for the tournament begin at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 8:30 a.m. with wrestling beginning at 9:30 a.m. Each weight class will have awards for the top-three finishers, and there will be a team champion selected from each school.
After the tournament, votes will be tallied and the conference coach and wrestler of the year winners will be announced. Entering the event, Union Pines’ 14-man lineup currently features five wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of their respective division 3-A weight classes in the state. Leading that list is Vike senior and top-ranked 182-pounder Mike Brennan.
Brennan is the only Viking still undefeated at 41-0 on the season. Wednesday he wrestled up at 195 pounds and was one of four Union Pines grapplers to earn a pin fall victory.
Viking junior Ryan Hull is ranked fourth at 132 pounds, with a record of 39-12. The other three state-ranked wrestlers for Union Pines are all seniors and each occupy the third spot in their respective weight classes, including Josh Huskey (34-9, 220 pounds) Philip Mondi (37-9, 120 pounds) and 126-pounder Jaiden Lindsey with a record of 39-8.
After Saturday’s conference championship, the Vikings begin postseason competition. Up first are the opening two rounds of the 3-A dual team state playoffs on Tuesday, while the 3-A Mideast Regional individual tournament will be hosted by Morehead High School in Eden and takes place on Feb. 17-18.
According to retrorankings.com, Union Pines (13-6) is listed as honorable mention in the current 3-A coaches’ dual team poll and occupies the fourth spot in the 3-A tournament team rankings.
Union Pines 60, Westover 18
106 pounds — Billy Hornbaker, UP, forfeit; 113 — Mike Fedowitz, UP, tech. fall Johnny Tellez, 15-0; 120 — Mondi, UP, forfeit; 126 — Lindsey, UP, forfeit; 132 — Hull, UP, pinned Carlos Cevallos, 1:58; 138 — Paul Ambrose, UP, forfeit; 145 — Tim Squires, UP, pinned Julius Santiago, 4:30; 152 — Paul Tant, WO, pinned Zach Yates, 3:52; 160 — Ian Burch, UP, maj. dec. Dominique MacLauchlan, 19-10; 170 — Chris Bailey, WO, pinned Blake Lawrence, 1:51; 182 — Jerome Dorsey WO, pinned Thaine Martin, 2:58; 195 — Brennan, UP, pinned Jamarkus Swinson, 3:21; 220 — Huskey, UP, dec. Dean Brown, 13-12. 285 — Andreas Berryman, UP, pinned Ceron Francisco, 2:49.
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