Curtain lifts Friday on NCHSAA wrestling championships

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Eighteen wrestlers from The Wilson Times readership area will launch bids at a North Carolina High School Athletic Association individual state championship when action gets underway at Greensboro Coliseum.

The opening round is set for midday Friday after inclement weather forced the NCHSAA to push the start of the tournament back a day.

The plan is still to complete the tournament by Saturday, although a formal schedule was not announced by the association in its release addressing the postponement late Wednesday evening.

On Saturday, the consolations conclude earlier in the day, with the Parade of Champions and finals in all classifications. Fike High, coming off its first trip to the NCHSAA 3-A East final in the dual  team playoffs, leads the pack with seven entries and reigning 160-pound champion Aaron Bancroft.

However, Bancroft, who hasn’t lost in 47 matches this season, makes the step up to 170 pounds in 2020. Joining Bancroft from Fike are regional champions Jayleen Bullock and Jahmez Settles.

Settles, a senior at 106 pounds, takes a 43-8 record into the proceedings. Bullock, owning a 44-3 ledger, steps onto the mat at 195 pounds as a junior.

A quartet of Golden Demons placed third in regional competition including freshman Barrett Klutey (41-17) at 120 pounds, senior Garrett Weaver (24-4) at 138, junior Patrick McCullen (47-6) at 145 and junior Vincent Page (30-7) and 152.

Hunt junior Chris Silva, competing in the 195-pound ranks, is the lone Warriors qualifier and takes a 37-7 ledger into the state championships.

For Southern Nash, the junior trio of Luke Coble, Jadel Davis and Terrence Raspberry, all qualified.

Raspberry, in the 220-pound ranks, won 17 of 18 matches in the weight class this season, falling only in the East regional final. Davis, at 182 pounds, is 26-5 after surviving the consolation bracket in regional action at Cleveland High. Coble (31-6) scratched out the final East spot at 170 pounds after bowing in the third-place bout.

C.B. Aycock is represented by five competitors, including the unbeaten Christian Decatur at 113 pounds. Decatur, after coming over from Rosewood where he won a pair of 1-A state titles, hasn’t lost in 59 matches. Senior Tyler Hughes is unblemished in 57 bouts at 152 pounds and owns the No. 1 seed from the East.

Senior Canon Barrett (45-11) at 120 pounds, junior Omar Tucker (38-8) at 132 and junior Turner Bass (36-11) at 195 round out the CBA qualifiers.

North Johnston sends a pair of seniors in Justin Richardson and Alton Pratt in the 2-A ranks. As the only 2-A qualifiers from the Times readership area, Richardson and Pratt each survived the consolation bracket to take No. 3 seeds into their respective weight classes.

Richardson, 44-9 on the season, is No. 3 from the East at 152 pounds, while Pratt carries a 40-8 ledger into the 285-pound, or heavyweight, draw.