Northern bests Southern, Kerr-Vance in tri-meet
Monday’s tri-meet at Kerr-Vance marked a rare opportunity for the three Vance County wrestling teams. KVA hosted Northern Vance and Southern Vance in what was unofficially dubbed as the Vance County Challenge.
With the postseason right around the corner for each school, Northern claimed the inaugural meet by posting a 54-9 win over KVA before edging Southern 41-40 to take the overall title.
The three schools also met in the 12-team Raider Duals at Southern earlier this season.
“We wanted to do this at the beginning of the season but none of our schedules would allow it,” said Southern coach Jameil Floyd. “We wanted to have the Vance County Challenge.”
Northern was up to the numbers challenge, cruising on the team scoreboard over a KVA team short on numbers. The Vikings had one contested win to Southern’s four, but the Blue and Gold came out on top in the final score and in the final standings.
The crowd at Crawford Gym anticipated a match between Northern’s Jake Wiggins and Southern’s Jonathan Carlock at 160 pounds. But Wiggins was bumped up to 170, giving Carlock a forfeit win. Wiggins claimed a forfeit victory at 170 to clinch the meet for the Vikings despite a pin by Southern’s Laredo Bullock to close the contest.
Carlock went on to pin Wiggins in the third period of a spirited exhibition match.
Sikem Caceres and Damonte Blash each secured first period pins for Southern against Northern.
Postseason awaits for Raiders, Vikings
Neither Northern or Southern made the dual team state playoffs.
But Floyd said Carlock, Blash, Caceres, and Kavoris Perry have each essentially locked up berths for Southern in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A regional, slated for next weekend in Trinity.
Dashaun Freeman, Maxwell McNair and Joel Royster were the only Vikings to compete in two contested matches Monday.
“Those three all did a really good job today,” said Northern’s Jonathan Seu.
Seu has been appointed as the Vikings’ head coach and replaces Mike Zovistoski, who was indicted last week on charges of statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a minor. Zovistoski was in his second season as Northern’s head coach before his arrest in December.
Royster got a pin against KVA and McNair and Freeman each had pins against Southern.
Seu said Mykel Williams and Colby Hobgood will most likely clinch berths in the 3-A regionals for Northern, but at least four others are also in the mix.
The 3-A regionals are scheduled for Feb. 14-15 at Morehead High School in Eden.
Shorthanded Spartans win twice
KVA isn’t going to win many battles in team scores, but the Spartans did take two of three contested matches against Northern.
“It would have been better if we were able to compete, but it was still nice to get everybody together,” said first-year KVA coach Charlie Carroll. “It was good. I think all three teams probably enjoyed being so close to home and wrestling and getting it over with and moving on.”
Carroll, who was Southern’s head coach for 10 seasons, liked what he saw from James Averette in his win at 152 pounds against Northern.
“He ended up turning the guy which would have been a tech fall, but then holding him for a pin,” said Carroll. “You feel something as a coach when a guy can score 15 points against somebody. I must have been teaching something.”
Jared Hicks has been KVA’s standout at 132 pounds. He got the other win for KVA against Northern in a 6-3 decision.
KVA has one match left Wednesday before the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association Tournament next weekend.
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