High school wrestling: County tournament returns on Saturday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 2021

By Mike London

MOUNT ULLA — The Rowan County Wrestling Tournament returns on Saturday, with West Rowan hosting the event.

The first matches are at 9 a.m.

There was no tournament for the 2020-21 season that was postponed until late in the 2020-21 school year. South Rowan’s Jacob Cox, now a senior, and East Rowan’s Oren Bost, now a freshman at Appalachian State, won individual state titles. Cox is now a two-time state champion and could become the first in county history to win three.

West’s team has claimed the last three county tournaments that were held. When the Falcons prevailed in 2017-18, it was major news, their first county championship since the 1989-90 season. Now they’ve made winning the county a habit under coach Jonathan Brown. Other schools have had the marquee individuals, but the Falcons have displayed the most team depth.

The roots of a county tournament can be traced back to the 1960s and a powerful Boyden wrestling program that won 66 straight dual team matches between Jan. 2, 1964, and Jan. 4, 1968.

Boyden won what was billed as a county tournament on March 6-7 of 1964, with West Rowan taking runner-up honors, but all schools didn’t participate.

The official beginning of the modern county tournament is considered to be Jan. 16, 1988, with Salisbury, North Rowan, East Rowan, South Rowan and West Rowan all in attendance, and with the Falcons taking the victory.

South dominated the team aspect of the event in the 1990s, racking up six straight county titles at one point.

Salisbury three-peated around the turn of the century before the Raiders turned into bullies again and ran off another five titles in a row.

East enjoyed a three-peat in the 2000s, while North put together three in a row, starting with the 2010-11 season.

Carson’s first country triumph came in 2014-15. The Cougars secured their second trophy in 2016-17.

The all-time championship tally now stands: South (13), East (6), West (5), North (3),Salisbury (3), Carson (2).

While the Raiders have the most titles, they haven’t added one to the trophy case since 2009-10.

Salisbury is experiencing the longest current drought. The Hornets haven’t won the county since 2000-01.


Team champions

2020-21 COVID, no tournament
2019-20 West
2018-19 West
2017-18 West
2016-17 Carson
2015-16 East
2014-15 Carson
2013-14 East
2012-13 North
2011-12 North
2010-11 North
2009-10 South
2008-09 East
2007-08 East
2006-07 East
2005-06 South
2004-05 South
2003-04 South
2002-03 South
2001-02 South
2000-01 Salisbury
1999-00 Salisbury
1998-99 Salisbury
1997-98 South
1996-97 East
1995-96 South
1994-95 South
1993-94 South
1992-93 South
1991-92 South
1990-91 South
1989-90 West
1988-89 Measles epidemic, no tournament
1987-88 West