A most unusual start to the state 1A wrestling championship tournament preceded an early ending Saturday for Polk County’s three state qualifiers.
Satchel McCoy, Bryson McCraw and Jacob Knighton each drew East Regional champions for their opening matches and each battled before eventually falling in the state quarterfinals at Uwharrie Charter Academy.
The meet was scheduled to begin Saturday morning at Glenn High School, but with the 4A meet also at that location, fans quickly filled the building and forced fire marshals to close the gates. With numerous fans holding tickets and unable to access the building, state officials decided to move the tournament some 45 minutes away to Uwharrie Charter and postpone the start time until 3 p.m.
Once the meet started, McCoy had one of the most exciting matches of the opening round. Battling South Davidson’s Timmy Freeze in the 126-pound quarterfinals, McCoy trailed 6-5 entering the final period, but scored a reversal and nearfall to take an 8-6 lead.
Freeze tied the match, but McCoy picked up a point with 24 seconds left to take a 9-8 lead. Freeze, though, scored an escape and also picked up a team point with seven seconds left to claim a 10-9 win.
McCraw faced Uwharrie Charter’s Grayson Roberts in the 152-pound quarterfinals and fell by pin in the second period. Knighton suffered a major decision loss to East Carteret’s Jathan Parker, who raced to an 11-3 lead at the end of the third period and built the lead before winning 20-5.
Avery placed 10 wrestlers in the championship round, with four winning state titles, as the Vikings claimed their second consecutive 1A state team championship.