Raider wrestling gets 2 wins on Senior Night

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

Southern Vance wrestlers Xavier Gregory, Will Kittrell and Terrence Branch had senior nights to remember Wednesday as the Raiders earned team wins over J.F. Webb and Nash Central.

Southern edged Webb 30-27 before a 36-28 win over Nash Central. The Warriors also had a 42-24 win over the visitors from Nashville.

“We looked OK,” said Raider coach Jameil Floyd. “We have a lot of stuff to work on still and piece together in terms of going deep as a team.”

Gregory is a veteran of Raider wrestling and a contender for a 3-A state title at 195 pounds. Kittrell is a Greensboro Dudley transfer and Branch is a first-year wrestler, recruited by Floyd from the cross country team.

Gregory, 28-2 on the season, finished 2-0 on the evening with two first period pins. His win against Nash Central came at 220 pounds. Both of his losses this season came by way of injury default.

Floyd said Gregory came away with wins against the two wrestlers that he thought would give Gregory the most trouble this season, including a close match against a Bunn wrestler ranked in the top five in 2-A.

Kittrell’s first period pin of Webb’s Cameron Blanchard put Southern ahead 18-9 on the scoreboard.

“Will stepped up. He came up big,” said Floyd.

Southern’s Sikem Caceras followed with a second period win over Justin Perry at 106 pounds.

Damonte Blash and Kavoris Perry also had first period pins for the Raiders.

Aaron Rettig (145 pounds, 9-6 decision), Omari Powell (170 pounds, pin) and Zach Harris (132 pounds pin) had the wins for Webb against Southern.

“The guys that won won and the guys that lost lost by pins,” said Warrior coach Mike Toanone.

Toanone said his best wrestler this season has been Harris, who improved to 19-6 on the season with two wins.

Powell, 16-7 on the season, dropped a match against a Nash Central wrestler. Powell was wrestling up at 170 and was pinned in the closing seconds of the first period.

“He saw that he was big, got intimidated and freaked out,” said Toanone. “When you say, ‘Oh, my God’ when you go onto the mat, he could be the worst wrestler on earth — but if you look at him and say he’s going to beat me, he’s going to beat you. And (Powell) said, ‘Oh, my God’ as he was walking onto the mat. Because the guy was big.”

John Bennet, Christian Speed and Rettig also had wins by pin for the Warriors against Nash Central.

Josh Boyd and Kavoris Perry added pins for Southern against Nash Central.

“If I can just get them to listen a lot more and discipline themselves, we can be a lot more dangerous than what appeared today,” said Floyd.

Both Southern and Webb will compete at a Louisburg tourney Saturday.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.