Stokes County endured an invasion of Surry County wrestlers on Friday evening, and they’re probably glad that they found their way back across the county line.
In two matches that were contested on opposite ends of the county at the same time, Surry Central bested South Stokes 45-31, while East Surry avenged an early-season loss in a big way, downing North Stokes 56-18.
The Western Piedmont 2-A Conference match between Central and the Sauras was the more competitive of the two. Starting at 195 pounds, the Golden Eagles scored the maximum team points in each of the first four matches and led 24-0, only to see the home team take advantage of a couple of holes in the Central lineup and catch up. Going into the 145-pound match, the Eagles had fallen behind 25-24 after losing five consecutive individual matches.
“We’re kind of battling injuries right now,” said Surry Central coach Stephen Priddy. “We’re missing three wrestlers from our lineup, and we had to give them a couple of forfeits.”
Hampering the Eagles’ efforts are injuries to Matthew White, the team’s normal starter at 132 pounds, who is out indefinitely with a dislocated knee he suffered in a tournament last week, and Dylan Smith, who would have wrestled at 113 on Friday if he were not also nursing a knee injury. Smith is expected to return in about a week.
Because of the injuries, Priddy had to forfeit two weight classes to the Sauras. This was bad, but what was good is that the determination of a couple of his wrestlers not to lose by pin had prevented South Stokes from taking a much larger lead.
“I was very pleased with how we wrestled,” he said. “Even the kids who lost saved us points by not getting pinned.”
Surry Central led 24-18 after forfeiting at 126. Duncan Carter took to the mat in White’s place at 132, and lost to the Sauras’ Cooper Ross by major decision. At 138, South Stokes took the lead when John Kevin Fischer decisioned Angel Alvarez, but those two wins netted just seven team points.
Although down by a point, there was little chance of Surry Central losing, and what little chance there was ended when Danny Mata decisioned Steven Fatz 9-4 at 145. This put the Eagles back ahead 27-25, but effectively clinched the win because the Sauras had to forfeit to Ed Cano at 152 and Wesley Gillespie at 160. Those concessions meant that even if South Stokes pinned out, it could no longer win.
The Sauras’ Josh Patane scored a pin at 170 to make it 39-31. A pin victory by the Eagles’ Michael Branch at 182 simply added to the final margin of victory.
The match started at 195 with Kaleb Dunn receiving a forfeit. Maurice Abrams won by pin at 220, and David Pena received a forfeit at 285 for an 18-0 Eagle lead. Casey Hutchins scored a pin of his own at 106 to extend the lead to 24-0.
“We actually got forfeits to some of our stronger wrestlers,” said Priddy. “Kaleb is undefeated and David Pena only has two losses, and they didn’t even get to wrestle.”
The Eagles will return to action on Friday night at home against North Surry.
East Surry 56, North Stokes 18
The Vikings forfeited the first three weight classes of the night and were reportedly wrestling shorthanded in their loss to the Cardinals. Earlier this season, North Stokes had beaten East Surry on a night when the Cardinals wrestled shorthanded.
East Surry returns to action at East Wilkes on Tuesday night.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.