The Pinecrest Patriots claimed a regional wrestling championship last weekend.
When the Patriots earned the Midwest 4-A Regional title at Ragsdale High School last Saturday it was the first time the team had won a regional title since 2012. They also broke a school record in sending eight qualifiers to next weekend’s state 4-A championship meet in Greensboro.
The previous record was seven qualifiers.
“I’m really proud of the way our boys rebounded after a sluggish performance at the team duals (they were eliminated in the second round),” Patriot head coach Bob Curtin said. “Our wrestlers came out and established themselves with grit, determination and passion with the single goal of performing their absolute best. To win the toughest region in the state (Midwest 4-A), as identified by Rank Wrestling, is a testament to our program and the support we get from our youth, middle school, club team and their coaches who dedicate endless hours into our great young men.”
Hunter Hillis was one of the main catalysts for the Patriots run to the regional crown. The senior, wrestling at 160 pounds, repeated as a regional individual champion.
Hillis, 42-6 so far this season, defeated Jack Jarvis of Davie High by a major decision to earn his second consecutive individual title.
The Patriots had three wrestlers finish in second place including Matt Rowland, Gavin Millard and Cooper Bumgarner. Rowland placed second at 106 pounds, Millard at 182 pounds and Bumgarner at 195 pounds.
There were two Patriots that finished third and two others that finished in fourth place.
Will Nguyen took third place at 132 pounds and Chase Godwin finished third at 285 pounds. Jaden Dobeck earned a fourth place at 145 pounds and Dane Matthews a fourth at 170 pounds.
The top-four finishers from four regionals advance to the state 4-A championship that starts Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum.