Wrestling

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: As Crayton, Jackson look to repeat, Cabarrus looks to add more state champions

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: As Crayton, Jackson look to repeat, Cabarrus looks to add more state champions

Last year, when the state wrestling championships were held at the Greensboro Coliseum, two grapplers from Cabarrus County had their hands raised as titlists, the best in North Carolina.

This year, there is a chance there could be more.

A total of 27 wrestlers from the county – including reigning champions Chase Crayton of Mount Pleasant and Marcus Jackson of Central Cabarrus — will be participating in the 2021 championships at local high schools throughout the state on Saturday.

This year’s state tournament was moved from the Greensboro Coliseum because of COVID in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s abbreviated schedule.

The Class 4A tournament will take place at Kernersville Glenn High School, while Class 3A is at East Guilford and Class 2A at Trinity’s Wheatmore High.

While Crayton and Jackson enter the state competitions as champions, several more will be in contention. During last week’s regional meets, seven wrestlers with Cabarrus County ties won individual titles.

Crayton, who won the 220-pound title at the 2A West Regional meet, leads the way. The other regional champs from the area are Central Cabarrus’ undefeated senior Luke Masterton (152 pounds) along with teammates Jackson Baglio (113) and Charleston Baglio (106), Concord’s Daniel Tierney (138), Hickory Ridge’s Hunter Jones (126) and Mount Pleasant’s Levi Kluttz (195).

But there were a host of second-, third-, and fourth-place regional finishers – including Jackson, who was second at the 3A Midwest Regional and lost his two matches to just one wrestler this season – who could figure into the state title picture this weekend.

Among area teams, Central Cabarrus and Mount Pleasant lead the way with six state qualifiers each, while Hickory Ridge is next with five, followed by Concord and Cox Mill with three apiece, and Jay M. Robinson and A.L. Brown with two each.

Central Cabarrus, won the South Piedmont 3A Conference title with an undefeated record this year before finishing second in the 3A West Regional at Monroe Piedmont High School last week.

Mount Pleasant was the Rocky River 2A/3A Conference runner-up and also took second at the 2A West Regional tournament at Cabarrus Arena.

Cabarrus’ wrestling state qualifiers

A.L. BROWN
Trevor Freeman (113)
Gavin Hartsell (182)

Central Cabarrus

Charleston Baglio (106)
Jackson Baglio (113)
Marcus Jackson (126)
Luke Masterton (152)
Michael Forney (170)
Oluwaferanmi Bamikole (285)

CONCORD

Daniel Tierney (138)

Riley Nimer (170)

Nelson Pascual-Mateo (220)

COX MILL

Cooper Davis (113)

Samuel Cowher (182)

Bryce Gadson (220)

HICKORY RIDGE

Hunter Jones (126)

Kaylin Foust (152)

Alex Bentley (160)

Tomas Brooker (170)

Parker Jones (195)

Jay M. Robinson

Connor Goodman (132)
Joshua Heyward (152)

Mount Pleasant

Trent Almond (106)
David McEachern (120)
Dalton Miller (160)
Kyler Pickard (170)
Levi Kluttz (195)
Chase Crayton (220)

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