There really hasn’t been much damage at the house, Silas Shaw insists.
"Just a broken window one time," he says. "We try to be careful."
A broken window might seem like a minor cost for Chris and Stephanie Shaw, considering they’re raising three of the region’s top wrestlers.
The eldest, Noah, graduated from Mooresville High School last year and is now attending Appalachian State University. The youngest, Isaac, is a promising sophomore.
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In the middle is Silas, the defending state 4A champion at 132 pounds and now regarded as one of the state’s best in the 138-pound class.
Silas and Isaac Shaw anchor a Mooresville team that should be a statewide power this season.
"There’s uncertainty every year, but I’m excited," says 11th-year Blue Devils’ head coach Ben Watson. "We had five tough individuals back, some very promising freshmen, and some older wrestlers who are good."
At the head of the class is Silas Shaw, a junior.
The son of two athletes (dad Chris played soccer and baseball at Wingate University), Silas came to wrestling when a man at his church started a program.
"I was 7 or 8 at the time, and I wasn’t very good back then," he says. "But my dad told me to keep working at it."
In eighth grade, Shaw and the rest of his church-based team traveled to Iowa for a tournament.
"That’s where things started to work out," he says.
Shaw reached the state tournament as a Mooresville freshman, then went 57-2 on route to the state crown last season. And he became the first Blue Devil wrestler to receive All-America honors, and the first from Mooresville to win a state title as an underclassman.
Watson says the three brothers push one another.
"We get pretty intense," Shaw says. "But we leave it behind us at practice."
Except for the window. Shaw smiles, saying, "Yeah, we got a little rough that one time."
Watson says Silas and Isaac Shaw are great competitors in practice. "There are sparks sometimes," Watson says. "But they have amnesia about that stuff."
Watson describes Silas Shaw’s style as versatile but says he’s amazing to watch.
"He piles up points so quickly!" the coach says.
Shaw, who enjoys fishing with his father and grandfather in his free time, says the state championship hasn’t made him complacent. He kept busy during the summer, working with the Dark Horse Wrestling Club in Charlotte and competing at the Virginia Beach Nationals. Several national scouting services have him ranked among the five or 10 best in his weight class.
"I’ve still got a lot to learn," Shaw says.
Or, as Watson says, "Silas’ ‘want-to’ hasn’t decreased a bit."
And Shaw knows he’ll be the target of wrestlers from around the state.
"That’s how it’s supposed to work," he says. "It’s my job to get better and meet the challenge."
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle
Charlotte Observer Wrestlers to Watch
Tyler Gregor, Hickory Ridge, Sr.: Belmont Abbey signee has won back-to-back, 3A state titles (126), going 36-1 last year (135 career wins), now the reigning 3A state championships’ most outstanding wrestler looks to finish with a three-peat.
Matt Price, Piedmont, Sr.: The Piedmont standout has come painfully close to an individual state title, finished 3rd at states as a sophomore, 3A state runner-up (52-2 at 152 pounds last year) as a junior. Price looks to finish his high school career with an individual state title, while helping Piedmont to repeat at 3A state (team) champions.
John (J.C.) Ciaramella, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: The defending 3A state champion (43-2 at 170 pounds last year), Rutgers University commit, also hopes to finish his Marvin Ridge wrestling career with a 2nd straight state title.
Landon Shuford, West Iredell, Jr.: 3A state runner-up (126) as a sophomore has already has 92 career wins, but his focus is on the one thing he has accomplished yet: a state championship (now in 2A).
Nathan Hull/Keaton Norman, West Lincoln: Rebels duo will both be amongst favorites to contend for state title in respective weight classes with Hull (junior), the reigning 2A, 152-pound state runner-up, while Norman (senior) finished 3rd at the 2A state meet (138).
Nathaniel Friedman, Providence Day, Jr.: Chargers’ junior looks to repeat as NCISAA state champion (106-pound champ) at 113 pounds after going 41-4 last year, while receiving an invite to the Prep Nationals at Lehigh University.
Jake Hart, Fort Mill, Sr.: Yellow Jackets standout looks to be one win better than his 45-3, AAAAA state runner-up finish (152) a year ago, has 147 career victories.
Tyrie Houghton, Weddington: Reigning 3A state runner-up (195), N.C. State commit (30-3 last year) is eager to finish his Warrior wrestling career (92 career victories) on top.
Ben Okel, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: NCISAA state runner-up (113) will team with classmate, Mikey Feld (also NCISAA state runner-up) to help Coach David Paige and the Charlotte Latin wrestling team to their 7th straight, NCISAA (team) state championship.
Nathan Buchanan, Central Cabarrus: UNC Pembroke commit, three-time state qualifier was 47-3 last year capping his season with a 3rd-place finish at the 3A state meet (145); now look so finish his career (134-18) as a state champion.