Mustang Grapplers Have Good Mix
Since the wrestling program at North Moore was resurrected in 2010, head coach Mike West appears to have the team heading in the right direction.
West has 20 players out for the team, with 10 of them returning veterans. One of the veterans heading up the team is senior Kyle Kidd, who was the 1-A state runner-up in the 182-pound division last season. Kidd finished last year with a 30-7 mark, with four of his losses coming at the hands of three-time state champion Carson Joyce of Chatham Central.
Kidd won’t have to worry about Joyce during this campaign, as Joyce graduated last spring, and he should be one of the contenders for a return to state finals in Greensboro.
“I’m very pleased with the number of kids we have out for the team,” said West. “We have a lot of guys out that this will be their third year wrestling. We won’t be starved for experience like we have the past two years. We should be strong in the middle weights and Kyle in one of the heavier weights. We have a good blend of older and younger wrestlers.”
Another veteran West can count on is senior Logan Stancil, who was all-conference last year as a junior, in the 145-pound class. Logan finished the season last year with a record of 17-10.
There are seven seniors on this year’s team with five of them returning from last year’s team. The other three returning seniors joining Kidd and Stancil are Cole Garner (152 pounds), Paul Grant (195) and Ethan Morrison (145). Two other seniors joining the team for the first time are Brandon Purvis (132) and Caleb Galloway (225).
There are two juniors on the team with Will Nall (132) back for his second year and first-time wrestler Cesar Rojo (138). All four sophomores on the team are wrestling for their second year with Joe Davis (heavyweight) showing a lot of improvement toward the end of last year. The other three sophomores are Remington Summers (132), Ian Farris (145) and Ruben Gonzales (225).
With an eye on the future, West has seven freshmen on the team. Garrett Kidd (132), Nick Smith (170), Chase Richardson (120), Chris Renzi (112), Eurique Bautista (126), Guadalupe Cazares (106) and Erick Benitez (160).
Some of the lighter freshmen will see some valuable mat time since most of the heavier weights are filled by upperclassmen. West expects the competition in the Yadkin Valley Conference to be very balanced behind defending conference champion North Rowan.
The Cavaliers, who have two returning state champions, will be competing for their final year in the league, having to move up to the 2-A ranks next year. Among the teams that should be battling for second place are East Montgomery, Chatham Central, South Davidson and West Montgomery.
“After North Rowan, it’s everyone else,” said West. “I expect East (Montgomery) to be strong and Chatham Central is always strong, but they lost a lot from last year’s team. South Davidson is traditionally tough, but they have a new coach and I think his numbers are down from past teams. West (Montgomery) has been solid in the past and South Stanly should be competitive.
“I expect us to be among the upper-half of the standings if we can stay healthy.”
North Moore opened its season Tuesday at South Stanly in a tri-match including Union Academy, who will be joining the conference next year.
The Mustangs’ first home match is Dec. 6 when North Moore welcomes 4-A Hoke County and 2-A Jordan-Matthews to Robbins. That tri-match is slated to start at 6 p.m.
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