WRESTLING: Mitchell competes in Smoky Mountain Grapple
ASHEVILLE – Varsity and junior varsity members of the Mitchell High School wrestling team traveled to Asheville Dec. 22-23 to compete in the first Headlock on Hunger/Theraworx Protect Great Smoky Mountain Grapple at the US Cellular Center.
The tournament featured 12 of the top teams from the region, including Asheville, A.C. Reynolds, Chase, Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe, Northern Guilford, Pisgah, T.C. Roberson, Reagan and Trinity in addition to the Mountaineers.
Mitchell finished fourth overall and had five wrestlers in the finals.
“We were excited to be a part of it,” said Ed Duncan, Mitchell head wrestling coach. “We had a pretty good showing against some quality teams considering we are not at full strength.”
Ryan Richardson was the Mountaineers’ lone first-place finisher in the varsity competition, winning by decision in the semifinal match over Enka’s Eli Vassey and by fall in the quarterfinal match over North Buncombe’s Skylar Jutras. He received a bye in championship Round 1 and won in sudden victory over Pisgah’s Ethan Escobar in the first-place match.
Other varsity wrestlers that fared well at the meet were second-place finishers Emily Burleson (106 pounds), Dylan Lowery (113 pounds), Coltin Marlowe (126 pounds) and Jose Guardian (195 pounds).
Joseph Maltba (138 pounds) and Logan Hudgins (152 pounds) finished fourth in their weight divisions.
Mitchell wrestlers Caleb Greene, John Cox and Kolton Hoilman earned first-place finishes in junior varsity competition.
Greene scored 7 team points in Junior Varsity A, winning by 10-3 decision in the second round over Asheville’s Emory Hunnicutt and by fall in the third round over North Buncombe’s Brennan Sluder.
Cox won by fall in rounds 1, 2 and 3 and by decision in Round 4.
Hoilman scored 16 team points in Junior Varsity L. He won by decision in rounds 1 and 3 and by fall in Round 2.
Mitchell’s Trenton Wheeler placed fourth in Junior Varsity A.
Seth Elsaesser and Brandon McGee finished in second-place in their respective junior varsity categories. Elsaesser scored 12 team points in Junior Varsity C, winning by fall in the first, second and fifth rounds and McGee scored 10 team points for his second-place finish.
Third-place junior varsity finishers for the Mountaineers were Micah Staton, Zeb McKinney, Seth Goforth, Mason Bullis and Matthew Gilbert.
Mitchell wrestlers open conference competition at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, against Madison in Ledger.
The Mountaineers have not lost a WHC match in five years.
“Madison will be tough,” Duncan said. “We will have to bring our A-game for sure. We know everybody is going to come for us and we have to be ready for that.”