The West Lincoln Wrestling team began their quest for a Dual Team State Championship on Tuesday.
In first round action, the Rebels took on Mitchell County. West Lincoln squeezed by them 37-35.
Mitchell County started off the night by winning the first three matches. Paul McGee pinned Zac Elmore, Austin Williams pinned Jack Wombough, and Toby Sullins decisioned Peyden Houser 11-3.
This put Mitchell up in front 16-0. Zeb Elmore and Brandon Auton scored wins for the Rebels to bring the score to 16-7.
Mitchell County didn`t let that get them down. Ben Honeycutt decisioned James Pearson in a hard fought match, 9-8.
West Lincoln answered by winning five out of the next six matches by pins. Dustin Hester, Daniel Scronce, Daniel Soto, Thomas Smith, and Antonio Rojo sealed off the win for the Rebels.
Daniel Scronce said, “I am real proud of the team. They wrestled like they want to be there on Saturday.”
With this win, the Rebels moved on to the second round of the state playoffs. They faced Newton Conover, who had defeated Pisgah in the first round 30-19.
This was a rematch of a key Midwest 2A Conference match-up for the Rebels.
The Rebels came out strong for this match. Zac Elmore began the match with a decision over Jake Coley. Jeremy Pearson followed by pinning Joe Smith.
At 130 lbs., Matt Avery captured his 100th career win with a major decision over Phillip Chapman, 9-2.
Avery said, “I think as a team we rose to the challenge and we`re going to have to stay pumped up throughout the rest of the duals. We give God all the glory.”
Zeb Elmore added to the Rebelsâ€™ lead with a pin over Marcus Parsons. West Lincoln led 18-0.
Newton`s Jeremiah McLean and Kerry Michaud put the Red Devils on the board by decisioning Logan Schronce and Tyler Wilfong.
Dustin Hester answered by pinning Josh Hight in the second period.
At 160 lbs. Chase Carter decisioned Ryan Rhodes 6-1 putting the score at 24-9.
West Lincoln`s Keane Steele said, “Ryan Rhodes did his job when the team needed him. Coach Ross always puts an emphasis on the importance of the team.”
West Lincoln won three out of the next four matches to seal the win before forfeiting the last two matches of the night to thwart a possible injury.
Antonio Rojo`s win over Kyle Brock broke the school record set by Rojo last year for the most wins in a single season with 44 wins.
“The boys wrestled real well. They beat two real good teams and they rose to the occasion,” Coach Butch Ross stated.
With this win, the 34-0 Rebels will wrestle on Thursday night at 6 p.m. in the third round of the dual team championships. Their third round opponent is the No. 2 Bandys Trojans. The winner of that match will face the winner of West Stokes and Mt. Pleasant.
by Elizabeth Ross Carpenter