Third-time state champs?

Posted on November 7, 2011

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Croatan’s Wrestling Team began a new era on Monday, October 31st. They have the past two state championships under their belt; and now, they are hoping for a third one. With tryouts and the first practices at the beginning of this week, the team is on their way to another title.

Last year, the wrestling team captured its fourth consecutive 2A East Regional individual team title and sent ten wrestlers to the state qualifier. If that isn’t extremely successful enough, Croatan has had eight individual state champions; the most recent was last year’s graduate, Sam McCauley. The other seven champions are two-time champion Ryan Blackwell, Michael Melin, C.C. Wright, Jake O’Laker, Aaron Myrick, and Ryan Onofrio.

David Perry, head coach of the team, said, “The tradition that we have at Croatan has made us very successful.  Each year the team knows that nothing short of a state title is acceptable.” He thinks that another state title will be achieved if the younger wrestlers really step up and improve throughout the year. Also, the team will have to wrestle their best at the end of the season.

Wrestlers coming back from last year are ready to lead the team to another huge season. The returning starters are Garrett Bridges, Alex Bray, Grayson Millis, Sam Slater, Jon Mancini, Jonathon Rigsby, Caleb Carpenter, and Robert Benson.

Although, the team usually blows every team in the conference out of the water,TopsailHigh Schoolis always their biggest competitor. But as David Perry said, “competition breeds success.”

The Cougars first match is on November 22nd against West Carteret. Everyone should come out to support the wrestlers!

Reported by Kelsey Hernandez

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Posted in: Sports