Friday turned out to be a tough day for the Watauga High wrestling team. On the second day of competition at the North Carolina State Wrestling Championships in Greensboro, two WHS wrestlers were eliminated, and one is flirting with the possibility of becoming the Pioneers' first place finisher in four years. Demetre Kostis (39-7) at 132 pounds, who won his first-round match at the state tournament with a 6-0 decision against Robert Council of Purnell Swett Thursdau night, is three wins away from a third-place finish. Kostis, despite a 3-1 loss to
Terrence Moore of Durham-Jordan in the quarterfinal round on Friday afternoon, bounced back with a 9-4 win against Michael Palmer of Jack Britt in a second-round consolation match. That effort moves Kostis into a consolation quarterfinal match against William Scott of West Forsyth. The last time WHS had a place finisher at the state wrestling meet was in 2008. The Pioneers actually had three place finishers that season---Jacob Earp and Savva Kostis both finished second, and Justin Hyatt finished third.
Kostis is the only WHS wrestler left in the field. Gus Coffey, at 113 pounds, was eliminated on Friday. Coffey (28-7), who defeated Victor Sosa of Wilmington-Ashley 9-3 in the opening round, lost to Robbie Tomasic of Durham-Jordan by pinfall (in 1:21) on Friday. He was knocked out the tournament by Parker Ragsdale of Holly Springs in a second-round consolation match. Ragsdale defeated Coffey by tech-fall, 18-2. Mark Townsend (27-12), who lost by pinfall in the opening round (to Chris Kimmerly of Leesville-Road), was eliminated Friday afternoon as he lost to Reggie Turman of Greensboro-Dudley by pinfall (in 22 seconds).
In Class 2A, Ashe County has two wrestlers in the state semifinals. Michael Elliott (43-8) marched his way into the state semifinals in the 132 pound division by knocking off Clay Alguire of West Lincoln 10-4 in the quarterfinal round. He takes on Billy Simmons of Trinity (41-8). Josh Wineberg (43-1) marched his way into the state semifinals in the heavyweight division as he squeaked by Jose Garcia of Black Mountain-Owen with a 2-0 decision in the quarterfinals. Wineberg takes on Kyle Eiss (58-3) of Piedmont.
Lucas Miller, who suffered a shoulder injury in his first-round match on Thursday at 170 pounds, forfeited his consolation match against Andrew Colborn of Croatan and ended his season with a 33-15 record; William Miller, who was injuried as well during his first-round match Thursday night, forfeited his consolation match at 182 pounds against Trevor Hoyle of East Burke and finished the season at 32-7. Dakota Elliott at 138 pounds was eliminated on Friday.
Elliott (33-13) lost to Casey Bruce of Trinity 6-4 in overtime in the state quarterfinals before he was pinned by Logan Quiney of Bunker Hill in 2:43 in a second-round consolation match.
In Class 3A, St. Stephens and Fred T. Foard have five wrestlers competing in the state semifinals. Bradley Baber of the Indians reached the semifinals by defeating Jonathan Ruiz of South Rowan 10-9 in his quarterfinal match at 113 pounds; Ian Martin of the Indians is in the semifinal round at 138 pounds as he defeated Shabaz Butts of Ledford, 4-1.
The Tigers have three wrestlers in the state semifinals. Ben Pitts of the Tigers marched into the state semifinals at 132 pounds with a 7-6 win against Ryan Hull of Union Pines; Hayden Albert of the Tigers defeated Devonte Dickens of Wilson-Fike 4-2 in his quarterfinal match at 160 pounds; Zack Edwards defeated Wood Mancuso of West Carteret by forfeit at 195 pounds in the quarterfinal round.