Fans and family members parked on lawns and on the side of the road last week at Chapel Hill High School, packing two Tiger gyms for two days to watch 262 wrestlers from 29 different schools battle it out in one of the state’s most prestigious wrestling events: The Tiger Holiday Classic.
The high-profile event brought in teams from across the state, joined by Galax High School from Virginia, Chattahoochee County High School from Georgia, and Clay High School from Florida.
Current Chapel Hill coach Tripp Price, who has been around since the “Bul City Holiday Classic” moved to Chapel Hill High and rebranded itself as “The Tiger,” had predicted a powerhouse like Clay High School would be a favorite for the overall championship. Clay was both talented and undefeated, and most N.C. teams had difficulty in scouting an out-of-state team. Clay came into the tournament riding a 339-match dual-team winning streak.
For much of the first day, Clay dominated, but when the dust cleared Friday afternoon, Jack Britt High School was in first place, ahead of Clay by 22 points.
The Britt lead grew on Day 2 of the tournament as the Fayetteville school advanced eight wrestlers into the championship matches. The Buccaneers accounted for over one-fourth of the championship match participants.
The Tigers’ defending tournament champion, Jack Britt, only lost three wrestlers from last year’s squad, according to coach John DeWeese.
Britt won its second Tiger Classic in a row, meeting the goal set forth by DeWeese: that the team “take care” of Clay.
Orange High also sent two wrestlers into the championship finals — Collin Smith and undefeated David Peters Logue at 138 and 170 pounds, respectively — and ended up in sixth place of the team standings.
Logue won the 170 title and improved to 24-0 with his tense 1-0 decision against Jordan Thompson of Cornelius Hough High School.
Carrboro earned an eighth place finish, while host Chapel Hill ended up in 17th. Local rivals East Chapel Hill, Cedar Ridge, DSA and Hillside all took part in the invitational.
Carrboro 120 George Carpenter, whose undefeated streak and recent tournament successes had made area headlines, suffered his first loss of the season on the second day, losing an 11-4 decision to Jordan Pitt of Chattahoochee, (Ga.)
Carrboro’s previously undefeated Stephen Dreher advanced to the championship match at 126 pounds before losing a 14-7 decision to Chatham Central’s James Daggett.
Carpenter met Orange’s Joe Scott in the consolation finals, a tough match that needed extra periods. Carpenter prevailed in a 6-4 decision.
Durham Hillside’s DaQuan Brown, one of the stalwart PAC-6 heavyweights, advanced to the championship match in dramatic fashion, pinning Orange High’s Byron Stephenson while down 9-5 in the second period.
TIGER HOLIDAY CLASSIC
1. Jack Britt, 287.5, 2. Chattahoocee, 188.5, 3. Clay, 186.5, 3. Laney, 186.5, 5. William Hough, 182, 6. Orange, 175.5, 7. South View, 153, 8. Carrboro, 102, 9. Havelock, 100, 10. Chatham Central, 99.5, 11. Mooresville, 94.5, 12. Piedmont, 89.5, 13.Watauga, 81.5, 14. Trinity, 72, 15. West Carteret, 68, 16. Clayton, 61, 17. Chapel Hill, 55.5, 18. Swett Purnell, 53, 19. Hillside, 49, 20. Parkwood, 44, 21. Bandys, 38, 22. North Pitt, 32, 23. Durham School of the Arts, 29, 23. Galax, 29, 25. Granville Central, 26, 26. East Chapel Hill, 19.5, 27. Voyager Academy, 19, 28. Green Hope, 14, 29. Cedar Ridge, 9
106: Bradley Wanovich (Jack Britt) 28-0, So. over David Bostian (Laney) 24-5, So. (Dec 4-2).
113: Andrew Wanovich (Jack Britt) 29-0, Sr. over Dale Browning (Clay) 13-3, (Dec 2-1).
120: Richard Tolston (Jack Britt) 25-1, Jr. over Jordan Pitt (Chattahoocee) 24-2, Jr. (Dec 6-2).
126: James Daggett (Chatham Central) 21-3, Sr. over Stephen Dreher (Carrboro) 18-1, Sr. (Dec 14-7).
132: Demetreus Kostis (Watauga) 31-1, Sr. over Garrett Hinton (Jack Britt) 21-1, Sr. (Dec 8-5).
138: Brandon Stern (Jack Britt) 29-1, Jr. over Collin Smith (Orange) 23-3, Sr. (TF-1.5 4:53 (15-0).
145: Adam Briendel (Clay) 29-1, over Michael Palmer (Jack Britt) 23-8, Sr. (MD 10-1).
152: Angel Najar (North Pitt) 26-0, Jr. over Jake Efird (William Hough) 15-2, Sr. (Fall 3:50).
160: John Ellis (Havelock) 19-2, Sr. over Michael Lines (Clayton) 27-8, So. (Fall 4:00).
170: David Peters Logue (Orange) 24-0, Sr. over Jordan Thompson (William Hough) 24-1, Jr. (Dec 1-0).
182: Malik McDonald (South View) 28-0, Sr. over Sebastian Barreto (William Hough) 25-1, Sr. (Fall 1:11).
195: Saetyre McDowell (Jack Britt) 16-2, Sr. over Sean Hoffmann (Chattahoocee) 19-2, Jr. (Dec 8-5).
220: Troy Cain (South View) 24-0, Sr. over Taylor Podhouser (Chattahoocee) 16-6, Sr. (Fall 0:24).
285: Byron Bryant (Jack Britt) 20-1, So. over DaQuan Brown (Hillside) 8-2, Jr. (Fall 1:37)