The 33rd annual St. Stephens Indian Classic tournament was held this Saturday at St. Stephens High School. The West Lincoln Rebels took home the championship with 210 points. The Rebels outscored East Burke, Newton Conover, Chapel Hill, West Rowan, South Iredell, St. Stephens, West Iredell, Bunker Hill, and Anson respectively.
The Rebel wrestlers dominated in this tournament. They held the lead in team points throughout the tournament.
West Lincoln had thirteen of their fourteen wrestlers place in the top four with four finishing in first place.
Jeremy Pearson, 125 lbs., defeated Kyle Stephens of St. Stephens by winning 16-4. West Lincolnâ€™s 130 lb. wrestler, Matt Avery, decisioned South Iredellâ€™s David Wiles 6-2. Dustin Hester, 152 lbs., pinned Jacob Clark of Chapel Hill in the second period. In the 275 lb. weight class, Antonio Rojo won by a pin over West Iredellâ€™s Steven Chapman.
Zac Elmore, 119 lbs., finished second after a tough loss to the tournamentâ€™s Most Outstanding Wrestler, Jonathan Annas of East Burke. With this win, Annas became a four-time Indian Classic Champion.
Winning in the consolation finals were John Harkey, Zeb Elmore, Tyler Wilfong, Daniel Soto and Keane Steele. Also placing were Matt Whittle, Daniel Scronce, and Thomas Smith.
Coach Butch Ross was very pleased with the tournament win. He stated, â€œWe wrestled real well. The boys went after it really hard. The teams that we wrestled were all good teams and well coached teams. All of our boys gave it their all.â€
The West Lincoln wrestlers were presented the championship plaque by St. Stephenâ€™s Coach Billy Bakerâ€™s family, Deedee, Blake, and Rylee. Coach Baker was a 1988 West Lincoln graduate. As a member of the National Guard, he was called to active duty in Iraq this past May.
Dustin Hester, 152 lb. Senior, said, I think that it was great that DeeDee and his kids could present our plaque to us. It meant a lot to the team because Billy means a lot to West Lincoln and West Lincoln wrestling.â€
West Lincoln will face a tough East Gaston team this Tuesday at West Lincoln at 7 p.m. East Gaston was the 3-A 2004 NCHSAA Indivudual State Tournament Team winner.
JV Indian Classic
The Rebels captured 4 first place medals, 4 second places, 3 third places, and 3 fourth places.
Winning in the championship finals were Travis Hullette, Payden Houser, James Pearson, and Clay Heafner.
Placing second for the Rebels were Lucas Quinteros, Jack Wombough, Morgan Huss, and Randall Neal.
Logan Heafner, Zeke Elmore, and Daniel Smith won in the consolation finals to give them third place.
Finishing fourth were Kevin Martin, Ben Pope, and Ethan Peterson.
Coach Butch Ross said, â€œThey wrestled real well. I am very pleased with the outcome of the tournament.â€
by Elizabeth Ross Carpenter