For the entire season, Chris Caton waited and worked for the opportunity to win his fourth consecutive state title.
It took the Northside Christian senior only 80 seconds to pin Christ Schools A.C. Chancellor in the 132-pound weight class to win another NCISAA state championship, making Caton four for four at the state meet in high school career.
Caton, who has signed with the Air Force Academy, was the Most Outstanding Wrester at the NCISAA state championship meet, capping a 42-2 season. Caton also was named All Observer and All Mecklenburg Wrestler of the Year in the process.
While Catons career is impressive, Jay M. Robinson senior Garrison White also made history by winning his third straight 3A state individual title in a row, at 126 pounds this season.
White, who has signed with Northwestern, is also the South Piedmont conference (SPC) Wrestler of the Year and earns All Region Player (Observer) of the Year.
While Caton and White earned top individual honors, Piedmont wrestling coach Todd Stokes takes home Observer and Regional Coach of the Year honors, after guiding the Panthers to a perfect 38-0 record and a 2A dual state (team) championship.
Stokes and company also got revenge by beating Croatan High 41-22 in the finals, one year after finishing as 2A state runner-up, when they lost to the Cougars in the title match. The state championship was the first state wrestling title for Piedmont since 1987.
Junior Parker Von Egidy and Dylan Nelson led the way for the Panthers, both winning state individual titles in their respective weight classes.
Charlotte Latin and Coach Richard Fletcher are used to winning state titles. This year, Fletcher, the All Mecklenburg Coach of the Year, guided a young Hawks team with only one senior the programs eighth state championship in his 22-year tenure. Freshman Billy McClelland led the way, winning the Hawks only individual state title at 113 pounds.
Note: Staff Writers Langston Wertz Jr. and Sergio Tovar contributed to this story.
All Observer awards
All Observer Wrestler of the Year: Chris Caton, Northside Christian
All Observer Coach of the Year: Todd Stokes, Piedmont
All Mecklenburg Wrestler of the Year: Chris Caton, Northside Christian
All Mecklenburg Coach of the Year: Richard Fletcher, Charlotte Latin
All Region Wrestler of the Year: Garrison White, Jay M. Robinson
All Region Coach of the Year: Todd Stokes, Piedmont
All Observer Wrestling Team
106: Marc Gonzalez, North Rowan, Freshman., 1A state champion has even brighter future.
113: Cody Karns, Lake Norman, Jr., I-Meck and 4A West Regional champion fell just short as 4A state runner-up
120: Cody Walker, Cuthbertson, Junior and Terence Gore, Chester, Sr., Cavalier standout won N.C. 3A state title, while Chesters Gore won 3A S.C. (FILL) title.
126: Garrison White, Jay M. Robinson, Sr., went out on top with third straight 3A state championship, Northwestern signee.
132: Chris Caton, Northside Christian, Sr.: finished off remarkable career with fourth straight NCISAA state championship, Air Force Academy signee.
138: Casey Belville, Independence, Sr: Patriots all-time leader in wins, went out strong with SW4A championship, 4A Western Regional title and third-place finish at states.
145: Nick Leitten, Fort Mill, Jr.: S.C. 3A state runner-up.
152: Addison Klutz, Newton Conover, Sr and Dominick Davis, Chester, Klutz took N.C. 2A state title while Davis won S.C. 3A championship.
160: Dylan Nelson, Piedmont, Jr.: individual state champion also helped lead team to title.
170: Parker Von Egidy, Piedmont, Jr., another state champion and key piece to Piedmont puzzle.
182: Nick Sinicrope, Fort Mill, Sr., 3A state champion.*
195: Jonathan Schavey, Rock Hill, Sr., 4A state runner-up finish.
220: Chase Warren, Gastonia Ashbrook, Sr., went out on top with state title.*
285: James Passmore, North Gaston, Soph., 2A state champion.*
2nd Team All Observer
106: Chris Green, SouthLake Christian, So.*
113: Billy McClelland, Charlotte Latin, Fr.*
120: Amit Naik, Providence Day, Jr.*
126: Franklin Wepner, Newton Conover, Soph.*
132: John Grigg, East Gaston, Sr.*
138: Leaton Conner, York, Sr.*
145: Chase Hayes, Charlotte Catholic, Jr.
152: Kenan Robertson, Jay M. Robinson, Jr.
160: Will Davis, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.* and Markevius Duncan, Nations Ford*
170: Markus Cromwell, Statesville, Sr.*
182 : David Crouch, South Caldwell, Sr.
195: Tyler Belfield, Newton Conover, Sr. and Dylan Davis, West Lincoln, Sr.
220: Scott Richardson, SouthLake Christian, Sr.*
285: Zach Brown, Mooresville, Sr.
3rd Team All Observer
106: Ian Canrobert, Newton Conover, Sr.
113: Tyler Turner, Fort Mill, Soph.
120: Asher Goodwin, Olympic, Jr.
126: Mark Saleh, Charlotte Christian, Soph.
132: Payton Schuford, West Iredell, So.
138: Hamilton Hewitt, SouthLake Christian, Fr.*
145: Matt Borin, Charlotte Latin, Jr.
152: Sam Bryant, SouthLake Christian, Jr.*
160: Palmer Maples, Hough, Jr.
170: Ben Greenberg, Providence Day, Jr.* and Thomas Fowler, North Rowan, Jr.*
182: Ronald Truesdale, Indian Land, Sr.*.
195: Jason Gulotta, Central Academy, Sr.* and Zach Carter, Charlotte Latin, So.
220: Matthew Bennett, Butler, Sr. and Quinton Plyler, Central Academy Sr.*
285: Will Robertson, North Rowan, Jr.*