High School Wrestling:
Published: Feb 05, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Feb 05, 2013 05:07 PM
CHAPEL HILL - A grueling season for high school wrestlers comes down to the final match tonight when Chapel Hill hosts defending 3A state titlist Orange in a battle to decide the Carolina-6 championship.
The Tigers will recognize their seniors and parents in a short ceremony at 6:20 p.m. and then take to the mats at 6:30 p.m. Tonight is the last regular-season match for CHHS seniors Jon Carter, Ave Chen, Arthur Colson, Joseph Frederick, Baxter Fricks, Andrew Hotong, Ethan Martin Nick Stefandis.
Orange already had its own quick recognition ceremony last weekend, when the Panthers hosted the Carolina-6 Duals — a round-robin event hosted by OHS in lieu of a conference tournament. Orange coach Bobby Shriner collected his 500th victory as a head coach as Orange took a 71-6 win against Southern Vance.
Shriner, who had 10 wins as a head coach Chapel Hill High School before heading north to Orange High, left the duals with 501 wins in his career.
"I don’t think Bobby had any thoughts about No. 500 before it happened," CHHS head coach Tripp Price said last weekend. "That was a great accomplishment for him, and it was great we got to be there when it happened. We’ve been friends a long time; 25 years ago I was lucky enough to be working with Coach Shriner."
Chapel Hill (14-13 overall) and Orange (15-1) both won three matches in Saturday’s duals without meeting each other, leaving both of them 4-0 in the conference, and both already have qualified for the N.C. High School Athletics Association dual-team tournament. Tonight’s winner heads into the state playoffs as a No. 1 seed.
"I’m happy we won our three matches, and I’m very pleased we get to compete for a conference title," Price said. "This what we work for."
Price said Orange, with eight total state team championships, represents the paradigm of a high school wrestling program.
"When we’re there at Orange, and our players can see all the state championship banners, we remind them that this is the level where we want to be," he said. "We want to compete against the best."
Orange is so deep, its roster includes 17 Panthers with winning records, eight of them with more than 20 wins. The team is led in total victories by 160-pounder David Peters-Logue (33-3) and Anderson Pope (33-4) at 145 pounds.
Jack Towmey-Kozak, who had missed some matches after a late-season injury, won a 6-2 decision at 138 pounds over Jamel Kearney in Orange’s 69-3 victory over Northern Vance and improved to 23-4 this season.
Orange finished Saturday’s duals with an 80-0 shutout of over-matched Oxford Webb which forfeited at eight weight classes.
Chapel Hill started Saturday with a 48-21 win against Southern Vance, then topped Northern Vance 57-19 and Webb 58-16.
Chapel Hill’s Arthur Colson went 2-1 at the duals, winning once at 220 pounds and going 1-1 at 285; he leads the Tigers in wins with a 33-6 record.
Tommy Morrison also went 2-1 at the duals, improving his season record to 33-13 at 126 pounds.
Andrew Hotong (19-12 overall at 182) and freshman Robert Price (22-12) both went 2-0 Saturday; Price wrestled at 220 and 285.
Chapel Hill sophomore Erik Jens won all three of his matches at 132 pounds to improve to 17-12.
"Many of our young wrestlers are really beginning to step up and compete at a high level," Price said.