High School Sports

Charlotte Latin wrestling wins 4th straight state title

Charlotte Latin's Michael McClelland (right) gains control of Cary Acadeny's Christian Sodano in the the championship match of the 106-lbs class of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state wrestling tournament at Charlotte Latin.
Charlotte Latin's Michael McClelland (right) gains control of Cary Acadeny's Christian Sodano in the the championship match of the 106-lbs class of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state wrestling tournament at Charlotte Latin. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Four was the number of the day for Charlotte Latin senior Billy McClelland and the Hawks wrestling team.

McClelland won his fourth state title on his home mat at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament Saturday afternoon, and helped the Hawks bring home a fourth consecutive team state championship.

The seniorhasn’t lost to an NCISAA wrestler since the seventh grade.

“It’s like a storybook ending,” said McClelland, who won his 150th career high school match in the tournament semifinals. “It’s what I’ve been dreaming about for so long and I’m not going to have any regrets looking back. …

“I’m getting emotional thinking about it. The last 10 years of my life have been devoted to it, so to do it is really amazing.”

Charlotte Latin beat second place SouthLake Christian 259.5-232 to win the program’s 14th title. Raleigh Ravenscroft finished third with 166 points.

SouthLake wrestler Hamilton Hewitt also won his fourth state title, taking the 152-pound class.

“It feels awesome,” said Charlotte Latin coach Richard Fletcher, who has led the Hawks to 11 titles. “I tell you what, SouthLake had a great finish with ... five champions, but it was so great. We had so many (wrestlers) in the semis that it sort of sealed the deal at the beginning.”

Charlotte Latin had wrestlers place in the top four of every weight class except for two (120 and 145 pounds) and had a 34.5-point lead heading into finals.

“We just had to come through well in the (consolations), but it was such a great (semifinal) round, that’s where we sort of locked it up,” Fletcher said.

Six Hawks made the finals with three taking titles.

McClelland’s younger brother, Michael, a sophomore, won Charlotte Latin’s first state title in the 106-pound division by beating Cary Academy’s Christian Sodano 7-2.

Billy McClelland then defeted Metrolina Christian’s Cade Haines in a 7-2 decision to win the 132-pound class.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do together for forever,” said Billy McClelland, who plans to wrestle at Davidson next year. “To be able to share this with him (Michael) this year, it’s something we’ll remember forever.”

Toby Okwara closed out the tournament with a pin of Asheville School’s John Galusha to securethe heavyweight title, Okwara’s third consecutive state championship.

SouthLake Christian led all teams with five state champions: Dylan Boone (113), Adam Edwards (126), Hewitt (145), D.J. Wilson (182) and Hunter Allen (220).

Charlotte Christian’s Charlie Rand took the 160-pound title.

Team scores

1. Charlotte Latin 259.5; 2. SouthLake Christian 232; 3. Ravenscroft 166; 4. Wesleyan Christian 154.5; 5. Asheville School 112.5; 6. Metrolina Christian 107.5; 7. Providence Day 102; 8. Cary Academy 89.5; 9. Charlotte Christian 78; 10. North Raleigh Christian 55; 11. Charlotte Country Day 45; 12. Rabun Gap-Nacoochee 27; 13. Forsyth Country Day 15; 14. Greensboro Day 14; 15. Kerr-Vance Academy 13; 16. Christ School 11.

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