By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
CNHI News Service
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 —
The high school wrestling season opens this week for the four high school programs in Stanly County with teams bringing in high expectations for the 2012-13 campaign.
Following are the previews for the South Stanly and West Stanly squads. The Albemarle and North Stanly wrestling previews will appear in future editions of the paper.
The Rebel Bulls return six key wrestlers this season for head coach Bill Sorenson (126-98 overall), who led South to a 23-14 team record last season.
Sawyer Bartlett was the Stanly champion at 170 pounds and was a regional qualifier, finishing 28-23 overall, while heavyweight Jonathan Beachum (20-27) was the county’s champion last season.
Jordan Carpenter is a senior who was 20-14 last season and a regional qualifier at 126 pounds. He is a team captain this season.
Patrick Cruz is another returning senior for the Bulls. Wrestling also at 126 pounds last year, he was 21-18 and a reigonal qualifier despite missing part of the season with injury. Cruz is also a team captain this year.
Brandon Lowery returns for his sophomore season after going 24-14 last season at 182 pounds, qualifying for regionals.
Cody Shields was 28-21 last season at 106 pounds as a freshman last season, winning the Stanly title.
Sorenen’s expectations for all his top returning wrestlers listed above are to win the county, medal at regionals and make the state tournament.
Newcomers for South include: Gareth Baldwin (195), Jimmy Johnson (183), Jason Smith (150), Taylor Shepherd (132), Dakota Lewellen (132), Chrisitan Huneycutt (106), DaShun Holt (138), Nicholas Carpenter (126), Michael Furr (170), Tomas Hudson (160) and Robert Beachum (145).
“With a mix of first year athletes and several promising new wrestlers, we anticipate being competitive. We have several three and four-year wrestlers that were one match away from qualifying for states last year. The YVC is the pre-eminent wrestling conference,” Sorensen said. West Stanly
Head coach Phil DePasquale returns for his fifth season as the Colts’ head coach after going 15-13 last season with a 4-3 mark in the Rocky River Conference. His overall mark over those seasons is 62-49.
West returns all but one starter from last season “and will be a force in our region and potentially on the state level,” according to DePasquale.
Top returning wrestlers for West Stanly include junior state qualifier Wesley Gordon, who wrestled at 120 pounds last season and posted a 23-15 record.
Jonathan Surratt is another state qualifier for the Colts who returns this season. The senior was 36-10 last season at 126 pounds for West.
Junior Jordan Blake returns at 138 pounds for West and was 32-14 last season, while John Lord was 21-11 at 132 pounds in his freshman season last year and returns for the Colts.
Nathan Marlow posted an 11-4 record at 126 pounds last season; the junior returns this year for West and will replace Joseph Graves in the starting lineup. Graves was a two-time state place winner with a 115-42 overall high school record.
“On a team level we have set our goals high. With the work ethic these kids have shown over the summer a deep playoff run is within their reach. We had a talented group of freshmen and sophomores last season that made great strides in fulfilling their potential,” DePasquale said.