Pinecrest Grapplers Claim Conference Championship
The Pinecrest varsity wrestling team captured first place in the Southeastern Conference when it beat Hoke High School 57-18 in their last league match on Wednesday, ending the regular season with a 5-0 conference mark and a 28-1 record overall in dual matches.
By claiming the top spot in the league standings, the Patriots will begin state 4-A dual team competition at home on Tuesday. Saturday, the Patriots participated in the conference individual tournament at Hoke County. Results were not available by press time.
The Patriots are ranked No. 2 in the Retrorankings Coaches Dual 4-A poll, just behind Parkland High School.
In last Wednesday’s dual against Hoke, the Pats got off to a slow start, losing at 195 pounds to a pin, giving Hoke a 6-0 lead. But the Patriots tied it up at 6-all when Hoke forfeited the 220-pound bout.
Pinecrest junior Luke Fetla (42-2), ranked third in the 4-A division at 220, bumped up to face Darrius Wirt in the 285 weight class and gave the Pats another six points on the board with a pin.
Hoke earned another three at 106 before Patriot senior Zac Lupien (32-13), wrestling at 113 pounds, pinned Karon Johnson in 1:21 in the first period to earn six more points for his team.
At 120, junior Cody Fitzgerald (18-15) battled it out with Hoke’s Austin Rivera to win a close 10-9 decision and another three points for Pinecrest.
The Patriots earned 12 more points when freshman Dakotah Nelson (18-18), at 126, and sophomore Dallas Roemer (40-4), ranked fourth in the 4-A division at 132, pinned both their opponents in the first period. Nelson pinned Kyle Lohman in 1:54 and Roemer pinned Ryan Cervantes-Garcia in 16 seconds.
Hoke earned another six points at 138 then gave up six when they forfeited at 145, giving Pinecrest a comfortable 39-15 lead.
Pinecrest senior captain Dustin Roemer (40-0), ranked No. 1 in the 4-A division at 152, worked some takedown and nearfall moves before pinning Lucas Hardin at 1:29.
At 160, sophomore Rider Excell (40-5), ranked No. 4 in the 4-A division, pinned Hoke’s Robert Turner at 1:42. The Bucks earned their last three points with a close 11-10 decision at 170 before Pinecrest sophomore Bryson Thomas (12-6), wrestling at 182, pinned Joey Crenshaw in 1:12 for a final six points.
More like this story