MILLERS CREEK — Two local wrestling teams racked up individual honors this weekend at the annual C.H. Necessary Tournament at West Wilkes High School.
North Surry and Surry Central placed 14 wrestlers in the top four on Saturday, including four champions in their weight classes in the individual-format event.
North Surry finished in fourth place as a team at the tournament, with Surry Central right behind the Hounds in fifth. Each team had two wrestlers come away with gold.
North coach Eric Jessup believes his young squad is starting to show some growth as the season closes in on conference play. Seven of the 12 Hounds who wrestled on Saturday finished in the top three of their weight class.
“It was a really good tournament with really good competition across the board,” Jessup said. “I think we’re improving all the time, and with a young team that’s the goal in every tournament we compete in. Hopefully when it gets to be January and February, we’re right where we want to be.”
North Surry had two champions on Saturday in Zackery Jones and Sammy McMillian. Jones is a senior in the 120-pound weight class and McMillian is a sophomore in the 152 class who won his first-ever individual tournament at West Wilkes.
Other notable finishers for North Surry on Saturday were runner-ups Reid Walker (106), Avery Simmons (170), Austin McBride (182) and Andrew Reece (280). Quinn Walker (113) recorded a third-place finish while Kobe Slate (132) also had a nice day, coming in fourth-place.
Jessup was especially impressed with McMillan, Simmons, Reece and Reid Walker. All four wrestlers are underclassmen who either won or competed in the final.
“Some of our younger guys broke through,” Jessup said. “They had good days and hopefully it builds their confidence moving forward.”
North Surry will return to the mats on Wednesday at Bishop McGuinness High School.
Central’s fifth-place finish was more impressive considering coach Stephen Priddy only filled eight of the 14 weight classes. He elected to send some of his more inexperienced wrestlers into the junior varsity tournament being held that same day.
Still, the Golden Eagles found success and six of the eight wrestlers who took part in the varsity competition finished in the top four of their respective weight classes.
“Overall we did extremely well,” Priddy said. “I’ve been excited all year about our team, and right now the guys are really picking it up and working hard. The younger guys are also coming along.”
Kaleb Dunn and David Pena led Surry Central on Saturday as both juniors won individual championships. Dunn won his second tournament of the season out of the 220-pound class while Pena earned his first tournament victory of the year in the 285 weight class.
Priddy noted that this was Dunn’s last tournament in the 220 weight class. The Golden Eagles have slowly been trying to work the football lineman’s weight down into the 195-pound area, and Dunn will start competing in the lower weight class later this week.
Matthew White (132) was a runner up on Saturday while Casey Hutchins (106), Danny Mata (145) and Ed Cano (145) all finished in fourth-place.
White exacted some revenge on Saturday as he defeated two wrestlers who had pinned him in earlier matches this season, including a semifinal win over Slate from North Surry.
The Golden Eagles will next be in action on Thursday in a tri-match with East Surry and Starmount.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16