High school wrestling: Nine Rowan wrestlers win first-round matches

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Staff report

GREENSBORO — Three days of wrestling in the NCHSAA Championships got under way on Thursday with first-round matches.

The biggest story to follow is South Rowan senior phenom Jacob Cox, who is writing the final chapter of a storied career.

Cox already has won two state championships. No Rowan County wrestler has ever won three.

With South moving up to 3A for this school year, Cox faced different challenges, but he is undefeated this season at 138 pounds.

Cox won convincingly by technical fall (16-1) in his first round match.

South’s 106-pounder Mateo Diaz Ruiz won by pin in the first round.

West Rowan, county champion and Rowan’s deepest team, qualified five wrestlers for the 3A State Championships.

The Falcons got off to a strong start on Thursday with four first-round winners.

Kevin Obrein (120), a freshman with a big future, won by injury default. Jacob Perry (126) and Christian Hercules (285) took decisions.

Brian Taylor took a major decision (10-0) at 138.

CJ Harrill (170) lost his first match, but isn’t eliminated. He’ll be back in action in today’s wrestle-backs.

East Rowan siblings Leah Edwards (113) and Shayden Edwards (132) are making county history as a brother and sister act in the 3A State Championships, but both lost first-round matches.

Leah lost by tech fall, while Shayden dropped a decision. They’ll wrestle again today.

East’s best hope for a podium finish is Luke Heglar (120). Voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Rowan County Championships. Heglar won a 4-1 decision in the first round.

Carson state qualifiers Christian Kluttz (132) and Ian Shue (195) lost first-round matches.

In 2A, a couple of multi-sport Salisbury athletes, Reed Fugle (220) and Jaden Gaither (285), got off to good starts. Fugle won by pin, while Gaither took an 8-6 decision after his overtime match went to a sudden victory period. Gaither was a recent football signee with UNC Pembroke.

In 4A, A.L. Brown entries Trevor Freeman (120) and Gavin Hartsell (182) pinned their first-round foes.

Davie got first-round pins from Hunter Testa (182), Jack Jarvis (170) and Brysen Goodbey (220), while Colin Bailey (152) received a first-round forfeit.

There’s a long way to go. Championship matches start at 4 p.m. on Saturday.