CHAPEL HILL – The pairings are now set for Saturday’s 17th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state dual team wrestling championships.
The Western regional champion will host each of the four classification championships, with two of them hosted by Catawba County schools.
The 4-A championship is a rematch of the 2005 title match as perennial powers Cary and Davie County square off again, with a 4 p.m. start slated at Davie. Last year Cary slipped past the War Eagles 34-32 en route to its fifth dual team state title in the previous 16 years of the tournament.
Coach Jerry Winterton’s Imps are unbeaten in 39 dual matches this year and beat Wilmington Laney on Thursday night in the regional finals, while Davie is 41-1 after a 34-33 victory over East Gaston in the Western final.
Cary is in the dual team finals for an amazing 11th time in the 17-year history of the event and has an all-time record of 62-11 in the dual team playoffs. The Imps’ state crown in 2005 snapped a four-year string of runner-up finishes, three to Durham Riverside. Cary beat Riverside 35-27 in its first match on Thursday night.
Davie is in the finals for the seventh time and fourth time in the last eight seasons, with a 1-5 mark in previous championship matches.
In the 3-A championship, Hickory St. Stephens (37-6) will take on Eden Morehead (39-3) in a 4 p.m. match in Hickory in Catawba County. St. Stephens upended Jamestown Ragsdale on Thursday night while Morehead eliminated previously unbeaten Pikeville Charles B. Aycock 44-17 in the Eastern final.
St. Stephens makes its third dual team championship appearance, with runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2002. Morehead has been in the finals five times previously, with four state titles and a second-place finish in most recent appearance in 2004.
The 2-A final will also be in Catawba County as Catawba Bandys (38-2), the defending champion, faces Newport Croatan (23-1), another rematch of a 2005 championship, at 4 p.m. The Trojans beat Croatan 41-15 a year ago.
Croatan downed West Stokes on Thursday night in the East regional final after West had ousted last year’s 3-A champion, Orange. Bandys rolled over West Davidson 49-18 in the Western final.
Alleghany (24-5) will host Hampstead Topsail (37-7) in a 2 p.m. match for the 1-A championship. Alleghany defeated West Wilkes 29-25 at West to advance to the final match while Topsail eliminated defending 1-A champ Chatham Central 44-24.
Alleghany has three previous dual team titles and a runner-up finish, with a title in ’02 and second-place finish in ’03 in the 1-A class. Topsail is making its first trip to a dual team wrestling championship.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
17TH ANNUAL DUAL TEAM WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, February 11, 2006
4-A: Cary (39-0) at Davie County (41-1), 4 p.m.
3-A: Eden Morehead (39-3) at Hickory St. Stephens (37-6), 4 p.m.
2-A: Newport Croatan (23-1) at Catawba Bandys (38-2), 4 p.m.
1-A: Hampstead Topsail (37-7) at Alleghany (24-5), 2 p.m.