State Wrestling Playoffs: THS postseason run ends in Newton for second straight year
If the upward trend continues into next season, expect to see Thomasville High School wrestling for a state championship.
For now, that honor belongs to defending 2-A champion Newton-Conover for a second straight season.
After beating Hunter Huss to reach the state semifinals, Thomasville could not compete with the Red Devils and were erased from the playoffs 36-28. The final score was misleading as NCHS forfeited the last three matches after securing the win on points at 36-10. The Red Devils eliminated THS last year in the quarterfinals.
“We are a little better than we were last year and they were better than they were last year,” said Thomasville coach Richard Herman. “That was the state championship match in my opinion.”
Herman was hopeful coming into the match, but knew just how big of a performance his team would need to pull it out. Kyree Colson had the large number of Red Devil fans on edge as he battled to a 4-2 decision in the first match at 138 to put the Bulldogs out front 3-0. There was little to be concerned with over the course of the next half hour.
Dan Avis pulled a reversal move on Brett Hokenson to squeak out a 9-6 win to tie the match. Nathan Reitzel and Rolen Benson followed with two straight pins, opening up some breathing room for the Red Devils at 15-3.
Sophomore Evan Makupson (170) got the Bulldogs back on track with a five-point win. It was another three points going on the board, but THS needed six each time if they had hopes of pulling the upset.
Sending six seniors to the mat on the night, Newton-Conover made its push to the championship in the next few matches.
Collin Minor came away with a pin 41 seconds into the match at 182, then Junior Hewitt outlasted Anthony Brisenio 3-0.
Thomasville's Keith Clemons (220) had a spirited match with Andrew Gaither in which Clemons took a 1-0 lead into the final period. But an escape by Gaither and a takedown gave him just enough points to pull it out. Clemons went for the legs on a last-second effort but the whistle sounded before he could score.
A forfeit at heavyweight had the score just about out of reach at 33-6, but Thomasville fought on. Rayshun Moore (106) kept the night going with a 16-4 win, but Austin Klutz mathematically eliminated the Bulldogs by beating Hygee Martin 6-0.
Jason Boutsady, Ahsan Butt and Corbin Wilson scored the final points on forfeits.
“A big difference from last year to this year is we competed a whole lot better,” said Herman. “I think that will give them confidence for next year. Newton-Conover sent out six seniors and you could tell it. We sent out two and you could tell it. They pushed us around and that is the difference between a sophomore and a senior.”
According to Herman, it is the deepest postseason trip in school history under the dual team format. Losing only two off this year's team, 2015 could be the year of the Bulldogs. With a team that appeared to be three-deep in each weight class, the Red Devils will likely be in the title talks once more as well.
“We are going to keep after it,” said Herman. “Each year we are a little better.”
Thomasville finished the season 41-5 with a Central Carolina Conference championship.
Notes: THS beat Hunter Huss 46-28 in the semifinals … Winners for the Bulldogs were Moore (106), Trayvon Moore (113), Boutsady (120), Butt (132), Colson (138), Hokenson (145), Makupson (160) and Clemmons (220).