Eastern Alamance High’s wrestling program hosted the annual Mid-State Conference tournament over the weekend inside Tal Jobe Gymnasium. The Eagles finished in sixth place in points out of the eight schools, with 68.
Northern Guilford won the Mid-State Conference championship with 235.5 points, while Person took second place (168 points) and Morehead took third place (157.5 points). Northern Guilford and Person represented the Mid-State Conference in the NCHSAA 3A dual team state tournament.
EAHS head coach Bruce Watson had the flu this past weekend, so assistant coach Sean Costello took the reins of the Eagles for the conference tournament. Former Eastern High wrestling head coach Nathan Gardner stepped in to assist Costello over the weekend.
“We had several guys out with the flu including Gonzalo Turner at 195 (pounds),” Gardner said in an email. “I helped Coach Costello with coaching. It was great to be back matside to help out the team. The team didn't perform as well as they would have liked, but I thought they fought very hard and have a bright future ahead of them considering how young they are overall.”
The Eagles earned a pair of individual conference titles at the league-wide meet, as Christopher “C.J.” Watson won the 106-pound bracket, and Noah Forshee prevailed at 160 pounds. Both Watson and Forshee are looking to make some noise at the upcoming NCHSAA 3A Mideast Regional tournament and qualify for the NCHSAA 3A state finals in Greensboro later this month.
In the 106-pound bracket, Watson pinned Northeast Guilford’s Tyshaun Randleman in the first round (1:30), to set up a match with Northern Guilford’s Kory Paschal in the finals. In a rough-and-tumble battle that went the full six minutes, Watson prevailed by an 8-7 final score.
Forshee earned his first win of the tournament by a 13-4 decision over Northern Guilford’s Chase Crews. In the championship match, Forshee pinned Morehead’s Xavier Searcy in a dramatic last-second push (5:58) to become the Mid-State Conference champion at 160 pounds.
“Noah Forshee and C.J. Watson performed especially well in capturing individual titles. Hopefully those two can keep up their momentum going into regionals in a couple of weeks,” Gardner replied.
The Eagles had three other top four finishers at the Mid-State Tournament - Julian Rodriguez at 152 pounds, Timothy McNeely at 170 pounds, and Bricy Chavis-Munoz at 182 pounds, who each placed fourth overall in their respective weight classes.
Rodriguez defeated Northern Guilford’s Tyler Kreuger by a narrow 8-6 decision to earn a berth in the semifinals, but was pinned in the second round (2:52) by eventual conference champion DeAndre Richardson of Morehead. Rodriguez then engaged in a rematch with Northern Guilford’s Kreuger, this time dropping a tough 7-4 decision.
McNeely got off to a solid start with a first round pin (1:25) of Person’s Paul Bailey, but he then ran into the Most Outstanding Wrester of the tournament - state title favorite Tyler Horton. On his way to cruising through the 170-pound bracket at the Mid-States, Horton pinned McNeely in the first round (1:09).
McNeely earned a first round pin over McMichael’s Bobby Wyatt (0:43) to set up a third place match with Rockingham’s Sam Smith. Smith and McNeely went at each other hard for a full six minutes, but Smith came out on the better end of a 10-9 final score, relegating McNeely to fourth place.
Although Chavis-Munoz was beaten by an 11-0 decision by Karson Evans of Person in the semifinal round, he bounced back to pin Jonathon Dyson of Morehead early in the second round (2:07), which advanced the EAHS 182-pounder to the third place match. Third place wasn’t to be, however, for Chavis-Muonz, as he was beaten by McMichael’s Lance Martin, 11-4.
1. Northern Guilford 235.5
2. Person 168
3. Morehead 157.5
4. Rockingham 75
5. McMichael 70
6. Eastern Alamance 68
7. Western Alamance 33
8. Northeast Guilford 12
Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament - Tyler Horton (Morehead)