The good times continue for Polk County’s wrestling squad.
Three Wolverines won their quarterfinal matches Friday at the 2020 NCHSAA Individual Wrestling Championships, advancing to semifinal competition in the 1A tournament on Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.
The trio – Satchel McCoy, Preston Burnett and Trey Thompson – gives Polk County three state semifinalists for the first time since 2011, when Tyler Philpott, Juan Vera and James Maxwell each advanced. All three wrestlers moved on to the final round, with Philpott winning the last state title in school history.
Polk County’s other state qualifiers, Collier Foster and Gage McSwain, suffered tough opening losses and will compete in the consolation round. The semifinals are slated to begin Saturday at noon, with consolation matches slated to begin at 2:15 p.m.
McCoy advanced with a pin of the 1A East regional champion, David Garcia of Granville Central. Garcia grabbed an early lead, but McCoy evened the match in the final 10 seconds of the second period, then pinned Garcia early in the third period.
McCoy will face Western Highlands Conference rival Dylan Lowery of Mitchell in his semifinal match. The two did not face off this season. Lowery (22-2) also advanced with a pin.
Thompson also knocked off an East regional champion, defeating Albemarle’s Adrian Little. Thompson held a 4-2 lead entering the third period, but Little finally broke Thompson’s hold on his leg and scored a takedown late in the period to tie the match. Thompson, though, fought to his feet in the final 30 seconds, and Little allowed the escape, giving Thompson a 5-4 edge.
The Polk senior maintained the upper hand in the final seconds to deny Little the win and set up a semifinal rematch with Mount Airy’s Jackson Tumbarello. The two wrestlers met in the dual team playoffs, with Tumbarello taking an 8-4 decision.
Burnett battled back from a near fall in the second period to pin East Carteret’s James Lawrence midway through the third period. The win gives Burnett 43 victories for the season, a new Polk County record.
Burnett will face South Stanly’s Renfere Garcia in the semifinals. Garcia (33-12), a freshman, won the East regional title.
Foster took an early advantage over Uwharrie Charter’s Gage Beal in his match at 113 pounds, but Beal fought back to take a lead, then pinned Foster midway through the second period.
McSwain raced to a 10-1 lead over Bishop McGuinness’ Daniel Cancro in their 182-pound match, nearly pinning Cancro in the first period before Cancro wiggled his way out-of-bounds. Cancro still trailed 11-7 entering the third period, but was able to gain the upper hand and pin McSwain 30 seconds into the third.