GREENSBORO Four. Three. Two. One.
Thats the order Lake Norman Highs Cody Karns placed during his four N.C. High School Athletic Association state wrestling tournaments.
Karns finished his senior year with an unblemished 52-0 record to end his Wildcat career on top, winning the 120-pound 4A state championship Saturday in a 12-5 decision in Greensboro.
I finally got it, the North Carolina signee said. I completed the progression.
Lake Norman coach Morgan Fore, who ceded his spot on the mat to allow Karns father, Wildcats associate coach Ron Karns, to coach his son one more time, said his wrestlers championship was well deserved.
Hard work pays off, Fore said. That kid puts in more time than anybody Ive ever coached. ... Hes intrinsically motivated.
Karns was one of three area wrestlers who finished the year undefeated. Chases Josh Stephens won the 145-pound 2A title to finish 52-0, while Piedmont senior Parker VonEgidy won his third straight state championship, claiming the 182-pound 2A title, on his way to a 59-0 mark.
Thats just the start of it, VonEgidy said. Now Im just ready to head up to Missouri and get things done up there.
Both Mecklenburg County wrestlers who competed Saturday night, Charlotte Catholics Chase Hayes and Houghs Palmer Maples, lost their championship matches.
Hayes, a senior 152-pounder, lost on a close 4-2 decision to 3A state champion Collin Munson from Gastonia Forestview.
Scotland Countys Nick Kee pinned Maples, a senior, in 55 seconds to win the 4A 170-pound title, Kees third career championship.
Gaston County wrestlers had a good night on the mat. Aside from Munson and Stephens, three others East Gastons Jacob Grigg (4A 126), Burns Gilbert Brooks (3A 145), North Gastons Collin Johnson (182) also won state titles.
Ive wanted it all my life, said Grigg, a junior. Its fulfilling. I finally have something on my own.
Three Union County wrestlers Cuthbertsons Cody Walker (2A 126), Sun Valleys Michael Macchiavello (4A 182) and VonEgidy earned championships.
North Rowan won the 1A tournament championship behind individual titles from Marc Gonzalez (113), Damon Ellis (120) and William Robertson (285). North Rowan was 1A dual-team runner-up last month.
Newton-Conover and Concord Robinson were team runners-up in 2A and 3A, respectively. Robinson placed all six of its state qualifiers, including 3A state champions David Cline (106) and Kenan Robertson (160).
This is the best, said Robertson, a senior. Everything Ive done in my life every practice I went to all comes up to this moment: winning this, being a state champ.
CORRECTION: West Wilkes was 1A dual-team champions.