Patriot Grapplers Dominate in League Tourney
There wasn’t much the Pinecrest wrestling team didn’t accomplish in Saturday’s Southeastern Conference individual tournament at Hoke County.
The Patriots won first or second place in every weight class at the event except at 170 pounds. Pinecrest earned 339 points to run away with the first-place award in the team competition and Patriot head coach Travis Flinchum was voted the conference coach of the year by his fellow head coaches. Thirteen Pinecrest wrestlers earned all-conference honors.
It was the third consecutive year that Flinchum, a former wrestler at Pinecrest, had won the award. Flinchum said the award belonged to “all his fellow (Patriot) coaches, parents and volunteers, the school athletic director and, of course, all his wrestles” for their efforts in helping the program to grow stronger.
The only Patriot wrestler to not claim a first- or second-place finish was junior Ryan McGuire at 170 (26-17 overall), and he wasn’t wrestling because of an injury. It was decided to have McGuire sit out in so he could recover before the start of the state dual competition. That was scheduled for Tuesday, with the Patriots hosting the first two-rounds of the event at home. Check thepilot.com for results of that competition.
Freshman Irvin Enriquez (41-3) placed first at 106 pounds, senior Zac Lupien (36-13) placed first at 113, junior Cody Fitzgerald (21-15) placed first at 120, freshman Dakotah Nelson (23-19) placed second at 126, sophomore Dallas Roemer (42-4) placed first at 132 and senior team captain Garrett Bateman (28-4) placed first at 138.
Continuing the Patriot onslaught, junior Sawyer Bateman (29-13) placed first at 145, senior captain Dustin Roemer (43-0) placed first at 152, sophomore Rider Excell (43-6) placed second at 160, junior Jonah Caliri (12-7) placed second at 182, sophomore Bryson Thomas (17-6) placed first at 195, senior Calvin Farlow (17-8) placed first at 220 and junior Luke Fetla (45-2) placed first at 285.
Finishing behind Pinecrest in the team total were Scotland, Hoke County, Richmond Senior, Lumberton and Purnell Swett. Pinecrest also had the regular-season championship, winning in dual competition against the other five members of the league.
Entering last night’s (Tuesday) state 4-A dual competition, the Patriots were ranked No. 2 in the 4-A division in the retrorankings.com coaches dual team poll.
A busy postseason continues for the Pinecrest grapplers.
The dual team competition continues on Thursday and Saturday, if the Patriots were to continue to advance.
Then on the weekend of Feb. 17-18, Pinecrest will play host to the East 4-A Regional.
The top-four wrestlers in each weight class out of that individual tournament will advance to the state tournament that is set for Feb. 23-25 in Greensboro.
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