CONCORD — Nine Surry County wrestlers finished in the top four of their respective weight classes at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship.
Six top-four finishes from Surry Central, headlined by two gold medalists, helped the Golden Eagles win their first team regional championship in school history. The most recent Surry County team to win the Regional 2A title was North Surry in 2015.
North Surry finished No.11 in the team competition and East Surry was No.12.
Central’s Jacob Price and Jeremiah Price, along with East Surry’s Eli Becker, each won regional championships in their respective weight classes. Xavier Salazar of Surry Central, Karson Crouse, Spencer LeClair and Enoch Lopez were regional finalists, Daniel Villaseñor of East Surry finished third and Garrett Shore of North Surry finished fourth.
All nine will compete in the 2A State Championship Meet.
The results for each school are below:
Shore faced an uphill battle after suffering a loss to Leviathan Haynes of Lexington in the first round of the 170-pound bracket.
He stayed alive in the consolation round by pinning Randleman’s Andrew Duncan. Shore went on to win back-to-back matches by major decision to reach the consolation semifinals, then beat Robinson’s Gabe Sevilla by decision 9-7 to advance to the state championship.
Shore fell to Walkertown’s Brayden Milner in the consolation final.
Caleb Utt, Jase Hernandez and Ty Gwyn each finished in the top six in their weight class.
Utt, struggling 126, won his first round match before falling to Wilkes Central’s Tyler Holland. Holland won the 126 regional title and improved his record to 34-0. Utt won their next two games in the consolation bracket before dropping a game against the eventual fourth place.
Hernandez won his first match in the 195 bracket, but lost his second. He won two consolation matches, one by 6-4 decision and the other by a first-half pin, before falling to East Surry’s Daniel Villaseñor in the consolation semi-final.
Gwyn competed in the 285 bracket and won her first two matches per fall. Gwyn met eventual champion Colton Wood of Providence Grove in the semifinals and led 6-4 heading into the third period. Wood scored a backhand in the final period before pinning Gwyn.
Gwyn was beaten by Salisbury’s Jaden Gaither in the consolation semi-final.
Becker, a junior, made it to the championship game in bracket 182. He won his first game by pinfall in the first period, won his quarterfinal game by major decision 11-0 and won his game of semi-final by major decision 9-1.
Becker met North Stanly’s Meliek Bryant in the final. Bryant led 4-2 after the first period, but an 8-0 second period put Becker up 10-4. Becker was leading 15-6 at one point, winning the match by 15-11 decision. Becker improves to 34-0 on the season with the championship win.
Villaseñor earned a first-round BYE in the 195 range, then beat Monroe’s Jesus Jarquim by major decision 13-2 in the quarterfinals. Villaseñor was beaten by eventual regional runner-up Enoch Lopez of Surry Central in the semi-finals.
Villaseñor beat North Surry’s Hernandez by pinfall in the second period to reach the consolation final and then secured a 45-second victory to finish third.
Jordan Dezarn, Lucas East and Trace Tilley each reached Day 2 of the 2A Regional Championship, but did not reach the medal rounds.
Dezarn met eventual 120 champion Rayshun James of Reidsville in the first round. Dezarn had a BYE in the first round of the consolation bracket before being defeated by North Surry’s Will Brickell.
Tilley picked up a quick win in his opener to advance to the 160 bracket quarter-finals. It was here that he met Surry Central’s Karson Crouse in a Conference Championship rematch . The pair went three full rounds, with Crouse winning by 4-0 decision.
East won his first game in the 220 range via a 3-1 freshman, giving the freshman his first victory in a regional tournament. He then met top-seeded Chase Crayton and was defeated by pinfall. Crayton wins to win the bracket. East won its first consolation match, but missed one game to finish in the top six.
Surry Central’s three state qualifiers from 2020-21 will return to the 2A State Championship this season, in addition to three other Golden Eagles.
Karson Crouse, Jeremiah Price and Jacob Price are the three returning qualifiers. Both Price brothers won gold medals and Crouse finished second in class after entering a sudden winning streak in the championship game.
Jeremiah Price won his third 2A regional championship, doing so this year in the 152 bracket. Jeremiah earned a BYE in the first round, then pinned his opponents in the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship in the first period of these matches. He never trailed and outscored his opponents 22-5 in those three matches before picking up the pin.
Jeremiah, a junior, only wrestled for four minutes and 12 seconds in the tournament. He sits 38-0 this season and has won his last 87 games.
Jacob Price didn’t get a BYE in the first round and still managed to win the 145 championship in just four minutes and 20 seconds. Jacob didn’t give up a single point during the tournament as three of his four games ended in under 60 seconds, including a 47-second championship win.
Jacob, a sophomore, is 28-2 this season and hasn’t lost in 2022.
Crouse was looking to win his first regional championship as a senior in the 160 class. He won his first match by pinfall in the first period, then won the quarter-final match by decision 4-0 and the semi-final match by decision 8-3.
Crouse faced Reidsville’s Julius Miller in the championship game. Neither wrestler scored in the first period, then Crouse took a 1-0 lead after the second period. Miller started low in the third period and evened things out with a breakout. The pair went into sudden overtime victory after finishing all three periods tied at 1-1, and it was there that Miller scored a strikeout to claim the 160th regional title.
Crouse sits at 27-4 heading into the state tournament.
Zavier Salazar, Spencer LeClair and Enoch Lopez each qualified for the inaugural state championship by finishing second at regionals.
Salazar fought 106 and picked up two quick wins to reach the semis, then advanced to the finals with a 1-0 decision win over Trinity’s Brayden Hall. Salazar fell to Morehead’s Jared Thomas, currently 46-2 this season, in the title match.
LeClair led 8-0 in his first round game before crushing his opponent in the third period. LeClair picked up another pinfall win in the quarterfinals, then won by 1-0 decision in the semifinals. Mount Pleasant’s Kyler Pickard got the better of LeClair in the title game, winning by 5-0 decision to move to 44-3 on the season.
Lopez encountered some familiar foes on his way to a silver medal in bracket 195. After a pair of lightning-quick wins in the first two rounds, Lopez encountered conference foe Daniel Villasenor of East Surry in the semi-finals. Villaseñor led 3-2 before Lopez scored five unanswered runs and clinched the pin.
Lopez faced another Foothills 2A conference opponent in the finals: Forbush’s Luke Hurley. Hurley led 4-1 after the first period and 6-2 after the second before winning by a major 14-3 decision. Hurley heads into the State Tournament 45-2.
Central’s Ayden Norman (113) and Wyatt Wall (138) each finished in the top six but narrowly missed the medal games.