The Jay M. Robinson wrestling program has built a championship tradition.
The Bulldogs have not only won four straight regular season conference titles, but have also won the 3A Midwestern regional and 3A state duals championship last year.
"I think we are an even more well-rounded team this year," said Robinson wrestling coach Dave Parisi. "But now is the time that we have to go out and prove that. This is the part of the season where you separate the good teams from the championship teams."
For the last two seasons, Robinson has been dominant as a member of the eight-team all-Cabarrus County South Piedmont Conference, winning all 14 conference matches in the regular season.
But while the Bulldogs raked in the hardware in 2009-10, the one title they didn't achieve was their own SPC tournament title, as Mount Pleasant coach Greg Hinson and the Tigers edged Robinson by 1.5 points to claim the championship.
The Bulldogs are hungry to earn the SPC tournament title Saturday at Concord High and have a wealth of talent to attempt that. Robinson has as many as eight wrestlers, who not only expect to win their weight class, but could also be regional and state qualifiers.
Robinson is led by a trio of top-ranked wrestlers including junior 125-pounder Garrison White, who is No. 1 in his weight class according to retrorankings.com, as well as seniors Jake Eldridge (No. 1 at 152 pounds.) and Devonte Andujar (No. 2 at 140 pounds).
While the Bulldogs remain the favorite, there are several individuals and teams who could challenge for SPC, regional and state bragging rights across the board in the conference.
Other top wrestlers include A.L. Brown's Nate Sexton, Concord's Nathanael Torrence, Cox Mill's Taylor Paige, Hickory Ridge's Troy Gregor as well as Mount Pleasant's Hayden and Hunter Carroll and Christian Carrillo.
SPC wrestling tournament preview
Favorite: Troy Gregor, Hickory Ridge: Freshman has dominated SPC competition most of the year and is No. 2 in the state in the weight class.
Contenders: Heath Gleaton, Central Cabarrus; Jonah Swinson, Robinson.
Favorite: Taylor Paige, Cox Mill: Charger sophomore has been the most consistent wrestler at 112.
Contender: Austin Helms, Hickory Ridge.
Favorite: Hamilton Jones, Robinson: Has been impressive after stepping up two weight classes from a year ago.
Contender: Hayden Carroll, Mount Pleasant .
Favorite: Garrison White, Robinson: Junior won the SPC, regional and state championship at 112 last year and has a great chance to pull off that trifecta again.
Favorite: Nathan Sexton, A.L. Brown: Sophomore has had strong season, starting 28-9 season.
Contender: Christian Morgan, Mount Pleasant.
Favorite: Nathanael Torrence, Concord: Spiders' top wrestler hopes to show he's amongst top in SPC, region and state in his final season.
Contender: Hunter Carroll, Mount Pleasant.
Favorite: Davante Andujar, Robinson: 2010 MVP of the state dual tournament has had another standout season at 47-3, No. 2 in the state.
Favorite: Kenan Robertson, Robinson: Sophomore, defending SPC champion is becoming another dominant Bulldog wrestler.
Favorite: Jake Eldridge, Robinson: Senior is still a perfect 49-0 and looking for more in the championship part of the season.
Contender: Jonathan Hill, Cox Mill.
Favorite: Patrick Oakley, Robinson: Senior has stepped his game up big time this season.
Contender: Christian Carrillo, Mount Pleasant.
Favorite: Nathan Tesh, J.M. Robinson: Another Bulldog who has stepped up into a starring role.
Contender: Garrett Wells, Hickory Ridge.
Favorite: Sam Curless, Hickory Ridge: No one has really dominated at this weight class, but Curless has been the most consistent.
Contender: Shane Harris, A.L. Brown.
Favorite: Josh Chapman, Hickory Ridge: Like 189, this weight class is really up for grabs but Chapman might have the advantage.
Contenders: Craig Bailes, Concord.
285 pounds (Heavyweight)
Favorite: Jordan Taylor, Robinson: Holding his own at 245 pounds, most of the time outweighed by 40 pounds or more.
Contender: Dillon Klutz, Concord.