Even though Dom Parisi and Garrison White graduated from Jay M. Robinson High several years ago they continue to proudly represent the Bulldogs wrestling program.
Parisi, a graduate student at Appalachian State who is competing in his redshirt senior year, and White, a junior at Northwestern, both stand out on the mat and in the classroom.
White and Parisi were both recognized as academic All-Americans by the National Wrestling Coaches Association last year and each feels he has a chance of qualifying for the NCAA national championship tournament this year.
Parisi has been named academic All-American the past two years and has qualified for the NCAA championships each of the past two seasons.
“It shows the strength of the program we came out of,” said White, speaking by phone from the Northwestern campus in Evanston, Ill. “We were fortunate to have parents and coaches that helped us showcase our wrestling talent and further ourselves.
“(Earning all-America status) is something anyone else in the community can look at and see what we’ve accomplished. And it’s something that may motivate them to accomplish something similar or something more than that.”
White graduated from Robinson in 2012. He won three individual state titles, becoming only the third Cabarrus County wrestler to accomplish the feat.
The second county wrestler to claim three state championships was Parisi, who graduated in 2010. Parisi and White’s time overlapped two years at Robinson, including Parisi’s senior season when the Bulldogs won the 3A state dual-team championship
In the state final against Orange, White and Parisi won their individual matches by pin at 112 and 119 pounds, respectively. The Bulldogs, who were coached by Parisi’s father Dave, won the match 35-32.
White and Parisi also won state titles at the state individual tournament. Robinson also scored the most team points at the individual tournament and claimed another state championship.
Parisi won his third individual state championship the same year White won his first. Parisi finished with 219 career victories, including a streak of 139 straight wins between his sophomore and senior seasons. White ended his career with 216 wins.
Parisi redshirted his freshman year at Appalachian State and a major knee injury in December 2011 cut his first year of competition short. He has appealed to the NCAA for an additional year of eligibility, but he is not confident it will be granted.
In 2012-13, his sophomore season, the Southern Conference had two NCAA tournament berths to award at its tournament. Parisi finished third in his weight class but was granted a “true second place match” against the original runner-up because the two wrestlers had not initially squared off in the tournament.
Parisi won the showdown to advance to the NCAAs. He reached the round of 12 and was one win away from making the top eight, which would have earned him All-American status.
As a junior last season, Parisi claimed the Southern Conference tournament championship. He advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, but did not win any matches.
“This (year) is the best I’ve felt physically and mentally,” said Parisi, who earned his undergraduate degree in recreation management last spring. “I know I’m as good as the best guy in the country. But it’s determined by how everything falls into place and how you wrestle that day.”
White planned to redshirt his freshman year but he was pulled into the starting lineup when Northwestern’s 133-pounder got injured. In his first two full seasons, White posted a 37-32-1 record.
Both White and Parisi are competing at 125 pounds. As of Jan. 10, White’s record was 9-8 and Parisi’s was 20-5.
They have never competed against one another in college but earlier this season they came close. Both of their teams participated in the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia but they did not get matched up in the bracket.
Both sets of parents, Dave and Maria Parisi, and Merritt and Deneen White, attended.