After starting late with wrestling this year because of his first time playing football, Mount Pleasant's Clayton Eudy was a little concerned about his readiness for the Tigers opening tournament this season.
Wrestling at the Southwest Randolph Invitational, Eudy advanced to the championship match against a member from the host school. It took four overtimes, but Eudy claimed the title, putting him on the right track for his senior season.
The two-time state qualifier has kept pace all season, winning his first 20 matches. Eudy hopes that his sixth place finish at last year's 2A state championship meet will lead to greater things in the 3A classification this year.
Mount Pleasant has been the most consistent wrestling program in Cabarrus County for the last 15 years or so, and Eudy has a strong Tigers pedigree. For eight years he competed for the Mount Pleasant AAU wrestling program, coached by his father, Leonard.
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During that time, Eudy won an AAU elementary state championship as a fourth-grader and a USA Wrestling state championship in sixth grade.
Eudy arrived at Mount Pleasant High as a 135-pound freshman. At the time, the only way for him to crack the lineup was dropping weight classes.
By the middle of the season, he was starting at 119 pounds. Eudy finished 16-11 and was the Rocky River 1A/2A Conference runner-up and qualified for regional tournament.
Several of his teammates advanced to the state tournament and won the team points championship. Eudy didn't compete at the tournament but that didn't stop him from joining the Tigers on the podium.
"He's just always been that type of kid that went the extra mile and did things right," said Mount Pleasant coach Greg Hinson.
Competing at 125 pounds as a sophomore, Eudy won the conference championship with a 33-14 record. He placed fourth at regionals to advance to the state tournament. Though he didn't place, two of Eudy's teammates won championships (Jose Sanchez and Jared Spradley) and another finished as a runner-up (Nick Albertson), which inspired Eudy the following season.
Finally competing at a more natural weight (152 pounds), Eudy went 39-6 and won another Rocky River title and was a regional runner-up his junior year. He placed sixth at the 1A/2A state tournament.
Coming off a spring during which he cracked Mount Pleasant's golf team's starting lineup, Eudy expanded his athletic participation by playing for the Tigers' football team.
While Eudy is enjoying a fine season individually, he is also leading the Tigers towards a showdown with Jay M. Robinson for supremacy in their new conference, the South Piedmont 3A. The teams will square off Jan. 19.