The 2011 State Wrestling championships finally got underway at 6 pm Thursday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The High Country has nine representatives in the field: Demetree Kostis at 125 pounds and Gus Coffey (103) from Watauga High; regional champion Brock Yackey at 135 pounds and Lucas Lecka, a regional runnerup at 215 represent Avery; and Ashe County has five wrestlers, including two regional champions at the state meet. Jake St. Germaine (112), Michael Elliott (regional champion at 119), Dakota Elliott (135), Juan Barrientos (140) and Joshua Wineberg (regional champion at 215) will represent the Huskies.
And the Huskies officially got the tournament underway in Class 2A on Thursday night. Three of their five wrestlers advanced in the winner's bracket, and one was eliminated from the field. Micheal Elliott defeated Zack Taylor of Bartlett Yancy by pinfall in two minutes; Dakota Elliott defeated Alex Fisher of Pasquotank County 5-0; and Wineberg defeated Adam Kutcha of Croatan by pinfall in 3:35.
St. Germaine is in the consolation bracket. He bounced back from his first-round loss to Alex Bray of Croatan (by pinfall) by defeating Gabriel Self of North Brunswick 10-5 in his first consolation match. Barrientos, who was pinned by Walter Jenkins of the Durham School of the Arts in 3:12, was later eliminated by Rahkim Franklin of East Rutherford by pinfall (2:07) in the consolation round.
Kostis and Coffey of WHS (in Class 4A), Yackey and Lecka of Avery (in Class 1A) will begin competing on Friday. Kostis, who was a third-place finisher at regionals last Saturday, takes on Bradley Stewart of Scotland County at 125 pounds. Stewart was a regional runnerup last week, and he's 23-4 on the year. Kostis is 39-8.
Coffey, a fourth-place finisher at regionals last weekend, has a tougher test in the opening round at 103 pounds. He will face regional champion Mitch Goldbach of Wake Forest-Rollesville, who is undefeated at 42-0. Coffey is 34-7.
Yackey, a regional champion for the Vikings last weekend at 135 pounds, begins state comepetition against Chad Hoff of Pamlico County in the first round. Yackey is 31-7, Hoff 28-9. Lecka takes Robert Overton of Red Springs. Lecka is 29-6, Overton is 26-4.
Weigh-ins for Class 4A begins at 8:30 am Friday morning. Weigh-ins for Class 1A begins at 4 pm Friday afternoon. The Class 2A and Class 4A quarterfinals begins at 1 pm Friday afternoon; the Class 1A quarterfinals begin at 5 pm. The tournament, which expanded to a three-day format this season, will wrap up Saturday. The finals begin at 5 pm Saturday night.