With two athletes successfully defending their individual state championships and three teams either winning conference championships outright or sharing titles, 2013-14 was another successful year in Cabarrus County high school wrestling.Central Cabarrus’ Heath Gleaton and Hickory Ridge’s Troy Gregor, both seniors, claimed their second consecutive individual 3A state crowns. Wrestling at 120 pounds, Gleaton finished 50-0 this year, while Gregor posted a 44-0 mark at 126 pounds.Hickory Ridge, Cox Mill and East Rowan all recorded 7-1 league marks and tied for the South Piedmont 3A regular-season conference title. Cox Mill lost a tiebreaker and stayed home for the state dual team tournament, while Hickory Ridge and East Rowan qualified.Mount Pleasant returned to the 2A Rocky River Conference this year and won its first regular-season conference championship since 2009. Robinson and A.L. Brown moved to 4A and still qualified for the 4A state dual team playoffs. Both teams had their seasons end at the hands of MECKA 4A Conference champion Hough.Individually, Central Cabarrus sophomore Josh Weinstein was the only other local 3A wrestler to reach the state podium: He was the 145-pound runner-up.In 4A, A.L. Brown sophomore Nick Sexton placed third at 126 pounds and Robinson sophomore David Cline finished fourth at 120 pounds. Coach of the Year: Greg Hinson, Mount Pleasant. Hinson, who just completed his 19th season as the Tigers’ coach, was thrilled Mount Pleasant returned to the Rocky River 2A after spending time in the South Piedmont 3A. The only team title Mount Pleasant won in the last four years was the SPC tournament championship in 2010.“It was nice competing with schools that had the same attendance size,” said Hinson. “It was kind of tough when you’re smaller than everyone else. You just don’t have the talent pool to choose from. There are no complaints, but it was nice being back.”The Tigers were a perfect 5-0 in conference matches and 18-12 overall. Almost half their losses came in the same weekend, at the Bob Mauldin Mat News Classic dual team tournament at Piedmont High, when they lost to five different 4A teams.Three Mount Pleasant wrestlers qualified for the 2A individual state tournament, including senior Heath Furr (126 pounds) and juniors Mitchell Robbins (132) and Robert Johns (145). Robbins, Johns, junior Tyler Rawson (170) and senior Anthony Stewart (heavyweight) made all-conference. Co-Wrestlers of the Year: Heath Gleaton, Central Cabarrus, senior, and Troy Gregor, Hickory Ridge, senior. Not only did these Cabarrus wrestlers complete undefeated seasons with state titles, they each went through the tournament with relative ease.Gregor won each of his first three matches by scores of 15-0. In the finals, he took down Morehead’s Mike Jones by an 8-2 decision.“Troy has worked extremely hard to earn his second state championship,” said Hickory Ridge coach Patrick Helm.“His hard work and dedication to wrestling have paid future dividends as well, as he has earned a wrestling scholarship to N.C. State,” Helm said.Gleaton reached the semifinals with victories of 16-0 and 23-6. After winning his semifinal match, Gleaton defeated Mike Jones’ brother, Morehead’s Jordan Jones, 5-1, to capture the state title.“Everyone said that the only thing harder than becoming a state champion was defending your title,” said Gleaton.“The second championship was awesome,” he said. “It was filled with so many more emotions. It was so bittersweet, because it came with the reality that my high school wrestling years were coming to an end.”
Thursday, Apr. 03, 2014
Central Cabarrus’ Gleaton, Hickory Ridge’s Gregor repeat as state wrestling champs
All-Cabarrus News wrestling
106 pounds: Jayquan McEntyre, A.L. Brown, junior. Second-place finish at regionals and qualified for the 4A state meet. Finished 39-11 and made all-MECKA 4A.
113: Matthew Sloan, Hickory Ridge, freshman. Great first season with a 42-14 record and a trip to states. Made all-South Piedmont 3A team.
120: Heath Gleaton, Central Cabarrus, senior. Two-time state champion finished 50-0 this season, 174 career wins.
126: Troy Gregor, Hickory Ridge, senior. Won second straight state title. Finished 44-0 and will compete for N.C. State.
132: Mitchell Robbins, Mount Pleasant, junior. Won two matches at states after losing in first round to finish 36-9 overall. Fourth in 2A Midwest region.
138: Isaiah Johnson, A.L. Brown, freshman. Qualified for states as a middle-weight freshman. Finished season at 39-9.
145: Josh Weinstein, Central Cabarrus, sophomore. Runner up at the 3A state meet, losing 6-4 in finals to finish 40-4. Also second place at 3A Midwest Region.
152: Marcus Bolick, A.L. Brown, sophomore. Was one win from qualifying for states. Finished 38-15 overall. All-MECKA 4A Conference.
160: Ethan Jones, Hickory Ridge, junior. Finished season 43-10 after placing third at regionals and winning a couple matches at state tournament.
170: Nathan Rodgers, Cox Mill, senior. Finished third at 3A Midwest region and qualified for states. Finished 34-13 overall.
182: Cody Reece, Mount Pleasant, sophomore. Finished 26-18 and would have qualified for states with one more win at regionals.
195: Tanner Small, Cox Mill, senior. Qualified for state tourney by placing fourth at regionals. His 42 wins made him one of only a few local wrestlers with 40-plus victories.
220: Keechan Ware, A.L. Brown, junior. Won his first match at states to finish 38-12 overall. Placed second at 4A West regional.
285: John Draper, Cox Mill, sophomore. Won four matches at the 3A Midwest regionals, all by pin, to advance to the state meet. Final record was 33-18.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Joe? Email him at joehabina@yahoo.✓ com.
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