Wrestling

Holland wins 2A wrestling state title

Holland wins 2A wrestling state title

Wilkes Central junior wrestler Tyler Holland made school history Saturday in winning the 113-pound weight class at the 2A state championships at Wheatmore High School in Trinity.

After Holland pinned previously-unbeaten freshman Hunter Clark of Fred T. Foard in the second period of the finals, he became the first grappler in school history to complete an undefeated season. All but one of Holland’s 24 wins came by pin.

Holland became the school’s first wrestling state champion since Vincent Beam claimed the 189-pound crown in 2008. It was also Wilkes County’s first title since 2018, when Rylee Billings and William Walker claimed crowns for West Wilkes.

Every single day I’ve been practicing here (at Wilkes Central) then going to Combat Athletics (in Mocksville), training and working out three or four times a day,” noted Holland. “That extra work really helped with the confidence. At the end of the day I knew I put in more work than any kids I was going to wrestle that day.”

Holland said he went into the finals thinking he could not lose. “I’ve made it all the way here, and I’ve just got to go all out. (Clark) was 29-0 going into the match. When I put him on his back, I just felt this calmness, like, ‘Alright, we’ve got this.’ ”

“Tyler pretty much dominated everybody,” said his coach, Wade Collins. “Even the kid he didn’t pin (Jacob Kresicki of First Flight, in a 5-2 semifinals decision), he had him on his back. He didn’t really get challenged.”

Collins said that Holland’s preparation and work ethic were keys. “He came in ready. I’m super, super proud of Tyler. If anyone deserves it, it’s him. I’ve never had another wrestler that has worked as hard as he has. Hard work will absolutely pay off, without a doubt.”

Holland said he wanted to thank Jamie Susi, the former wrestling coach at Central. “He introduced me to wrestling at the age of 4. I also want to thank Coach Collins, of course, and Nick Hartley, another of our coaches this year, and Coach (Dustin) Anderson.”

He also acknowledged the support of his parents and God. “Without God there wouldn’t be an opportunity to do this. My parents have driven me places and sent me to camps and stuff.”

Holland also thanked Coach Weatherman from the Central Middle School, who has “helped me in so many ways, and from way back in my wrestling career, Greg Roark and some of the coaches from Wilkes Wildcats. And I want to thank people like Rylee Billings and all my practice partners who have spent time working with me.”

Every single day I’ve been practicing here (at Wilkes Central) then going to Combat Athletics (in Mocksville), training and working out three or four times a day,” noted Holland. “That extra work really helped with the confidence. At the end of the day I knew I put in more work than any kids I was going to wrestle that day.”

Holland said he went into the finals thinking he could not lose. “I’ve made it all the way here, and I’ve just got to go all out. (Clark) was 29-0 going into the match. When I put him on his back, I just felt this calmness, like, ‘Alright, we’ve got this.’ ”

“Tyler pretty much dominated everybody,” said his coach, Wade Collins. “Even the kid he didn’t pin (Jacob Kresicki of First Flight, in a 5-2 semifinals decision), he had him on his back. He didn’t really get challenged.”

Collins said that Holland’s preparation and work ethic were keys. “He came in ready. I’m super, super proud of Tyler. If anyone deserves it, it’s him. I’ve never had another wrestler that has worked as hard as he has. Hard work will absolutely pay off, without a doubt.”

Holland said he wanted to thank Jamie Susi, the former wrestling coach at Central. “He introduced me to wrestling at the age of 4. I also want to thank Coach Collins, of course, and Nick Hartley, another of our coaches this year, and Coach (Dustin) Anderson.”

He also acknowledged the support of his parents and God. “Without God there wouldn’t be an opportunity to do this. My parents have driven me places and sent me to camps and stuff.”

Holland also thanked Coach Weatherman from the Central Middle School, who has “helped me in so many ways, and from way back in my wrestling career, Greg Roark and some of the coaches from Wilkes Wildcats. And I want to thank people like Rylee Billings and all my practice partners who have spent time working with me.”

Collins said Holland’s win was a nice way to end his 15-year coaching career at Central. “This was my last match and it’s good to go out with a championship. I’ve retired from public school. Funny thing is, my first year at Beaver Creek High School, I coached Anthony Hamilton, a state champion, and now Tyler wins it in my last year. It’s a good one to end on.”

Holland concluded, “My main thing this year was not leaving (the match) in the referee’s hands — make it such a decided match that nothing can change it. My other big thing was wrestling to win, and not wrestling not to lose. You’ve got to out there with a winner’s mindset.”

Other state results
Also Saturday in Trinity, West Wilkes junior Alex Roland finished second at 285 pounds, dropping a 3-2 decision to Ryan Walker of Newton-Conover in the “ultimate tiebreaker” format, which means a winner is declared after the first point after regulation.

Walker successfully defended his state title from 2020 and finished 32-1. Roland ended with a mark of 17-4.

Another Blackhawk junior, Riley Shaw, went 1-1 at 106 pounds to finish with a season record of 19-3.

“I am extremely proud of both young men on having great seasons during this pretty crazy COVID season,” said West Coach Kelly Nichols. “I’m also looking forward to watching them grow and improve during the off-season as they prepare for their senior seasons next winter.”

East Wilkes freshman Zac Helms and junior Kole Lambert competed at 132 and 138 pounds, respectively, in the 1A state tournament Saturday at Glenn High School in Kernersville.

In his first match, Lambert won by 14-8 decision over Manteo’s Emmanuel Tadeo Perez in the quarterfinals. He then dropped a tight 5-4 decision to Avery County’s Jonah Hayes in the semifinals to finish the year at 16-6.

Helms lost by 15-5 major decision to Braeden Reiss of Rosewood in the quarterfinals to end with a 21-6 record.

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