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Four Rebels qualify for the State

Bandys, the No. 1 team in the state, came away with the individual regionals title held at Newton-Conover Friday night.
The Trojans’ 148 points, bested Mt. Pleasant (125) and the host Red Devils (123). West Lincoln finished with 83 points for fourth place and South Iredell had 75.

West Lincoln
112- Matt Whittle (4-1) placed third, lost one-point match versus defending state champ from Newton-Conover Josh Webster.
140- Matt Avery (4-1) also placed third and tied the school record at 154 career victories shared with last year’s state heavyweight Antonio Rojo. Avery beat Kyle McGarity from West Stanley in the consolation finals.
145- Tyler Wilfong (3-1) placed second, losing a 14-5 decision to Bandys’ Colt Howell.
171- Randall Neal placed second (3-1), losing to Forest Hills’ Robby Blount.
Rebels’ head coach Butch Ross was pleased with his team’s effort against such stout competition.
“We had a good region and the boys wrestled hard, came through with some key wins there to place fourth in a real tough region,” he said. “The top six teams, all ranked in the top 10 in the state at the 2A level, out of a field of 30 teams were there he added.
Avery, who placed second in the state his freshman year and sixth his junior year, has impressed Ross with his unselfishness.
“One of the biggest things Matt did was be a good team leader and captain. He didn’t worry as much about the record as he did the team. What better place than to try to break it than the state tournament,” Ross asked. “He’s had a real good career. To be able to tie Antonio’s record, says a whole lot because of all the things Antonio accomplished at West Lincoln,” he added.
With Whittle, Avery, Wilfong and Neal all advancing to the 1A/2A State Wrestling competition to be held this Friday and Saturday at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Ross is expecting more of the same.
“You end up changing gears. Everything is geared toward dual season for the last two weeks. Then you switch from the team concept to the individual concept. It’s up to each individual whether they go on or they don’t,” he explained. “If they lose two matches, their season is over,” he added.

North Lincoln
112- Derrick Hanks placed fourth in the regionals with a 3-2 record. Hanks was state runner-up in the 103-weight class a year ago.
by John Mark Brooks

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