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Fike High rolled to its fifth consecutive 3-A Big East Conference dual-team wrestling championship Saturday in dominant fashion as the host Golden Demons defeated all five conference rivals.
Fike, now 24-4, topped Franklinton 54-27 in its closest match of the day while beating Hunt 70-6, Northern Nash 60-12, Rocky Mount 83-0 and Southern Nash 60-13. That was the only loss for the runner-up Firebirds, who defeated Franklinton 42-39, Hunt 54-18, Northern Nash 52-24 and Rocky Mount 64-6. Franklinton was third, followed by Hunt, Northern Nash and Rocky Mount.
“I’m very happy. I’m actually kind of humbled that we’re good as we are,” Fike head coach Bradley Watson said. “This is a good time to be a Fike wrestler and a Fike wrestling coach but I’ve got a lot of help with (assistant) Coach (George) Bancroft and a lot of former Fike wrestlers, who come by to help out. But it’s been a collective effort to get where we’re at.”
Five Fike wrestlers — senior Jahmez Settles, sophomore Antwan Macedo, junior Vincent Page, senior Aaron Bancroft and junior Zametrie Bagley — each went 5-0 on the day. However, only Bancroft and Bagley won four matches on the mat with just one forfeit win each. Bancroft, who became Fike’s first state champion last year by winning the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A 160-pound title, collected two pins and a forfeit win at his usual 170-pound spot and moved up to 182 pounds, where he won by fall against Hunt’s Chris Silva and Southern Nash’s Jadel Davis to improve to 35-0 on the season.
Bagley pinned all three of his foes at 182 pounds and got a pin and a forfeit at 195 pounds to move to 28-13 on the season.
Settles, Macedo and Page each collected three forfeit wins on the day. Settles registered wins by fall against Franklinton and Southern Nash as he exited with a 31-6 mark thus far. Page, now 20-5, notched a pin against Franklinton and a technical fall versus Rocky Mount while Macedo (28-13) had a pair of pins.
Watson noted that sophomore Nigel Richardson, who is in his first year in the sport, went 4-0 with a pin and a technical fall. Also going 4-0 was junior Jayleen Bullock, who pinned his opponents in matches against Franklinton and Rocky Mount while posting a 14-4 major decision against Southern Nash’s Tristan Rosas at 220 pounds. Bullock, who also won by forfeit, upped his worksheet to 32-3.
Some good news for the Demons was the return of senior Garrett Weaver from injury. Wresting for the first time since early December, Weaver pinned Hunt’s Will Mercer and Southern Nash’s Matthew Shealy while picking up a forfeit victory to raise his record to 16-3.
Junior Patrick McCullen collected two wins by fall and one by decision at 145 pounds to push his season mark to 35-4 for Fike.
Information was not available on any other matches.
The win qualified Fike for the NCHSAA 3-A dual-team playoffs that will begin Feb. 4. Fike has never moved past the second round, something that Watson hopes changes this year.
“I’m excited about going to the state duals,” he said. “I feel like this could be a special year and I hope it is!”