For most teams, winning a state championship is a once in a lifetime experience.For Coach Todd Stokes and his Piedmont wrestling team, it has become a tradition.This week, the Panthers look to add to their championship resume as they attempt to defend their 2A dual state title and be a player in the state finals for the fourth time in four years. They were 2A state runner-up in 2010 and 2011.Piedmont is one of the top teams in the state, ranked No. 3 in the coaches’ poll, according to retrorankings.com, just behind Croatan (No. 1) and North Surry.The Panthers also will be busy in the coming weeks trying to earn individual honors at the 2A Midwest Regionals (Feb. 22-23) and then the N.C. Individual state championships in Greensboro (Feb. 28-Mar. 2).Senior Parker Von Egidy, a University of Missouri signee, will go for his third straight 2A individual state championship. However, this would be his first in the 182-pound weight class, where he is ranked No. 1 in the state.Fellow classmate, Dylan Nelson is the top-ranked wrestler in the 2A 160-pound weight class, where he looks to defend his individual state title.Piedmont senior, Bryce Braswell (195), and junior Lucas Smith (152) also have a chance to pick up some hardware in the postseason; both are ranked with the top in their respective weight classes.Last season, Cuthbertson’s Cody Walker became the first male state champion in any sport at Cuthbertson High, when he won the 2A state title in the 120-pound weight class.Walker hopes to pull off a similar feat in the next two weeks, but at 126 pounds, where he is currently the top-ranked wrestler in the stateTwo more of Union County’s top wrestlers are looking to win their first individual state championships.Sun Valley’s Michael Macchiavello, who finished third in the state last year, is the top-ranked wrestler in his 182-pound class (class 4A) and hopes to keep it that way through the individual regional and state meets.Meanwhile, Central Academy senior Alex Ortiz also hopes to finish his career in state championship style, after previously losing in state semifinal match in the final seven seconds.Ortiz, currently No. 1 in the state at 145 pounds (class 1A) will be among the favorites going into the final two weekends of the season.Regional, state contendersSeveral other Union County wrestlers who have had big seasons also look to make an impact in the postseason.Weddington senior Kyle Deacon is No. 4 in his 138-pound weight class (3A). Sun Valley junior Billy Benfield is No. 5 in his 132-pound weight class (4A).Meanwhile, Porter Ridge senior Patrick Phillips, 220 pounds (4A), is ranked No. 6.Marvin Ridge junior Josh Younis has been ranked in the top 10 in the 113-pound weight class (3A) for a good part of the season.Central Academy juniors Jackson Price (285), Josh Lemon (132) and Phil Patterson (126) would also love to get on the podium a couple more times for the Cougars.
Friday, Feb. 08, 2013
Union wrestlers ranked high, eye titles
Plenty of Union wrestlers in state rankings
Piedmont senior Parker Von Egidy will look to go for his third straight 2A individual state champion later this month in Greensboro. PIEDMONT HIGH SCHOOL