CHARLOTTE – NCHSAA 1A power CATA flexed its muscles at the prestigious Holy Angels wrestling tournament, placing third out of 79 teams from throughout the region on Dec. 27 and 28 at the Bojangles’ Coliseum. Not to be outdone, Piedmont joined the Cougars in the top 10 by placing in a three-way tie with Cardinal Gibbons and Laney for seventh, but also produced a pair of champions in the talented field.
The Cougars had a number of standout performances that helped them score 140 points and finish third behind St. Stephens (149) and Cape Fear (165.5).
Kyle Montapeto (who improved his individual record to 28-1 on the season) and Hunter Ross (28-2) led the way by finishing third in the 106- and 120-pound divisions.
Aiden Curry (25-2) was fifth at 152 pounds and Cade Haines (28-3) also placed fifth at 160.
Jake Dodson (27-3) placed sixth at 138 pounds and CATA also got points from Elijah Harris, Preston Scarborough and Nick Swayze.
Piedmont scored 123 points to place seventh.
The Panthers had two individual champions to lead the way as Josh Blatt (18-1) placed first at 132 pounds and Tripp Collins (34-2) won the 113-pound title.
“We feel good about where we are at this point in the season,” Piedmont coach Jamie Belk said. “Both Josh and Tripp feel prepared and ready to make a run into the postseason (and) both young men are wrestling extremely well. Both young men will be ready and prepared when there opportunity presents itself.”
The Panthers also got scoring performances from Bailey Wicker (24-5), who was fifth at 120, and Nathan Huntley, who (28-9) placed sixth at 126. Conner Polhemus and Jake Cauble also scored for the Panthers, but did not place.
Here’s how the rest of the county shook out:
Porter Ridge (94.5 points, 18th place): Drew Dickson (27-4, 138 pounds) and John Arnett (30-5, 160) placed seventh to lead the way. Ryan Blanchard, Ericsson Cheek, Alex Gallagher, John Gallagher, Joseph Coble, Kolbi Tarlton, Trey Smith and Harrison Walser all scored, but none placed.
Weddington (67, 30th): Joe Zovistoski (7-1) placed third in the 182-pound class. Jake Wallace (6-2) placed fifth at 220, Denton Dicarlo (18-3) was sixth at 160 and Alec Orrell also scored.
Marvin Ridge (48, 43rd): Jonathan Freeman (17-2, 145 pounds) and Thomas Capul (16-2, 113 pounds) both placed fifth in their respective weight classes. Georgios Lahanas also scored.
Monroe (38, 52nd): Javon Robinson (133) took fourth place at 220 pounds to lead
the Redhawks, who also got scoring bouts from Amir Joseph and Bryzekeil Refern.
Cuthbertson (37.5, 53rd): Thomas Larison (14-2) claimed seventh place at the 182-pound mat while Tyler Carroll, Kurt Petroff and Grant Kahlenberg scored points.
Metrolina Christian (32, 56th): The Warriors had no individual placers, but got points from Bryce McFerson, Niles Debnam, Mason Miles, Gabriella Perez, AJ Hoyle, Joshua Fahrenkrog and Alejandro Perez.
Parkwood (30, 58th): Daniel Morrison (27-5) placed eighth at 220 pounds and the Rebels got scoring bouts from Cody Hardy and Caleb Simpson.
Charlotte Catholic (20, 66th): The Cougars had no individual placers but Kurt Hayes, Jacob Fitzgerald and Tucker Brown all scored points.