Polk County’s Gage McSwain looks to the referee for a signal of a successful fall during Saturday’s competition

Polk County had a shot Saturday at winning its Wolverine Duals tournament, which says a good bit about the state of the program heading into the final stretch of the 2019-20 season.

The Wolverines swept three matches in the morning session, then came close to upending tournament champion Charlotte Latin in the opener of the afternoon group. Polk dropped another close match to East Henderson in the final match of the day to finish 3-2.

The wins included a 66-10 victory over Chase, a 60-18 win over Broome, S.C. and a 60-12 defeat of Mountain Island Charter. Polk fell 48-36 to Latin and 45-30 to East Henderson.

“It was a good day today,” said Polk County head coach Adam Dedmon. “We wrestled tough today, we’re getting better and continuing to improve.”

The morning match with Broome reflected the team’s growth this season. The Centurions defeated the Wolverines earlier this season, but Polk dominated the rematch during its morning sweep.

With both teams 3-0 after the first session, the Wolverines fell behind early against Charlotte Latin in their matchup. Forfeit wins for Tori Strickland and Collier Foster, followed by pins by Satchel McCoy and Preston Burnett, pulled Polk within 42-36.

But Charlotte Latin standout Marshall Hanson, fourth in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state tourney last year, won his match at 132 pounds to seal the win.

“We brought in some good teams,” Dedmon said. “We’re not shying away from any competition. We had a good group of teams and I thought we had a good tournament overall.

“Gage McSwain finished undefeated for the day, and I think Collier and Satchel did as well. Preston (Burnett) and Trey (Thompson) just lost once. Everybody is working hard in the mat room right now.”

The afternoon losses, though, did nothing to damper the day’s success as Polk County improved its dual match record to 16-11.

“We’ve doubled our wins from last year. I think we had seven last year,” Dedmon said. “Two years ago they won one match, so we’ve gone from one to seven to 16.

“We’re going in the right direction with the program. The kids are doing the right things and we just need to keep chugging along.”

Polk County is slated to travel to Robbinsville on Saturday for tournament action.

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