Jacob Grigg had a lot of expectations to live up to before he stepped on the mat at East Gaston High.
Grigg, the youngest of four brothers, including Jared (two-time state champion), Jesse (current East Gaston assistant) and John (2012 state champion), lived up to his family tradition and then some.
Jacob Grigg, an Appalachian State signee, won his second straight state title, taking the 132-pound, 3A individual crown in dramatic fashion over defending state champion Payton Shuford, of West Iredell, 3-1 in overtime. Griggwon the 126-pound, 3A title last year.
Grigg earns Observer and Regional wrestler of the year for his work.
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Grigg was one of six area wrestlers to finish unbeaten on the season, joining South Rowan’s Logan Durham (31-0), West Lincoln’s Mack George (57-0), Central Cabarrus’ Heath Gleaton (50-0), Hickory Ridge’s Troy Gregor and Metrolina Christian’s Cannon Long (41-0), who were all state champions.
Charlotte Latin’s Toby Okwara is Observer Mecklenburg wrestler of the year after winning his second straight heavyweight (285), NCISAA 3A state title, going 46-3 on the season. Okwara also finished as All-American, taking eighth in the National Prep Wrestling tournament at Lehigh University on Feb. 21-22.
Charlotte Latin coach Richard Fletcher is Observer Mecklenburg coach of the year as he guided the Hawks to their third straight state NCISAA 3A state championship, his seventh in 11 years and 10th in his 24-year tenure at the school.
Rock Hill’s Cain Beard and Newton Conover’s Eddy Clark share Observer and Regional coach of the year honors.
Beard led his Bearcats (43-2) to a South Carolina 4A state title in dramatic fashion, coming back to beat Summerville High 28-23, with 106-pounder Devon Faile defeating the state’s top wrestler in the same class, Summerville’s James Sass, to clinch the victory.
Clark led his Red Devils to their 2nd straight 2A state championship with a dominant 44-15 win over Dixon High in the finals.