The 38th edition of the WRAL-TV High School Wrestling tournament in Raleigh will feature the best of the best, including 36 teams from North Carolina and South Carolina in the field.
The tournament, hosted by Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, boasts a deep and talented field that includes 10 teams ranked in the N.C. and S.C. final top 10 rankings in their respective classes, including eight returning wrestlers ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes at the end of the 2008-2009 season, according to ncmat.com.
Jay M. Robinson
The Bulldogs have taken down nearly every opponent in their path, winning both the Mooresville and Jim Hayes' (East Meck) dual tournaments and finishing as runner-up in their own Bulldog Duals.
Senior Dominic Parisi, who has now won 134 consecutive matches, is a perfect 16-0 this season, and is the clear leader of this team. Parisi, who is being recruited by at least 10 schools including Appalachian State, American and Virginia Tech, has the 5th longest winning streak in state history.
Teammates Jay Similton and Jake Ethridge are also unbeaten on the season. Garrison White, 55-1 last season, is also one of the team's and state's best in the 112-pound weight class.
"A top three finish (at the WRAL) would be a huge accomplishment," Parisi said. "But we are coming here to win it (all)."
The Trojans are in a rebuilding mode. Northwest Cabarrus, who lost a lot of their team after the opening of Cox Mill High School, still has some talent in seniors Luke Dutch and Robert Golde, who were both state runner-ups in their respective weight classes. Will Johnson should be one of the Trojans top wrestlers.
"We feel really good about where we are right now," Parisi said. "But this (WRAL tournament) should be a good indicator of how good we are. Hopefully, it will give our team a lot of confidence going forward."
Davie County, the runner-up last season, will be one of the favorites along with Robinson, with Durham Riverside and Fayetteville Jack Britt. Enka, Lake Norman, Newton-Conover and 71st High Schools will also likely be contenders.