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FHS Hosts Wrestling Tourney

FRANKLINTON -- Franklinton High School has been on a wrestling rampage over the past two seasons, so it was pretty easy to come up with a name when FHS decided to reinstitute its dual tournament this season.

So the Rampage Duals were reborn last Saturday at the FHS Gymnasium, and the Red Rams were one of the day's biggest team stars.

It's been quite a stretch recently for the Red Rams under Coach Joshua Igims as FHS won the Northern Carolina Conference team championship last season before moving up to the Big East Conference to the 2017-18 campaign.

Last Saturday, the Red Rams went 4-1 as a team, topping Durham School of Arts, Wakefield, Louisburg and Bunn while falling to a powerhouse Heritage club from Wake County.

FHS junior Michael Rogers continued his exceptional season at 220 as he went 5-0 to improve to 23-0 overall.

Junior Ben Hornyak went 5-0 at 170, including a victory over a touted performer from Durham School of Arts.

JC Fairchild (160) and William German (152 and only a freshman) were also perfect for the Red Rams.

Igims likes what he is seeing from his squad as the Red Rams prepare for key Big East dates on January 20 (dual conference tournament at Wilson Hunt) and January 27 (individual conference tournament at Wilson Fike).

"We know that we have something to prepare for,'' Igims said. "We are working very hard. We lost some guys from last year, but we have a lot of guys back -- and some really good new guys in.''

Bunn went 3-2 at the event, stopping Durham Arts, Louisburg and Wakefield while falling to Franklinton and Heritage.

Sam Kagarise (120) went 5-0 for the day for Bunn, while teammate Jakel Lawrence was 4-1 in the 132-pound weight classification.

The Wildcats are now 8-5 overall in dual action this season under Coach Parker Haake.

"The season is going strong,'' Haake said. "We've got a lot of first-year guys that we are working with. I think we are definitely improved from last year.''

Louisburg rounded out the Franklin County contingent by going 2-3. The Warriors defeated Durham Arts and Wakefield and lost to Franklinton, Bunn and Heritage.

Veteran Brandon Rodriguez went 5-0 at 126, and Austin Tilley (132) and Nathan McKenna (160) both posted 4-1 records.

Malakai Briggs was 3-0 at 152 before seeing his day cut short due to an injury.

"We are improving,'' said LHS head coach Jason Crawford. "We are getting there.''

Bunn and Franklinton will be in action this Friday at the Wildcat Holiday Invitational at the Bunn Dome.

The individual-based format will begin at around 9 a.m. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Louisburg is now off until the New Year. LHS will host tri-matches on January 5 (Rocky Mount High School and Neuse Charter) and January 8 (Southern Vance and Franklinton) at the LHS Gymnasium.

Pictured (Above): SEEKING AN ADVANTAGE. Franklinton High School's Isaac Nash (right) tangles with a Heritage wrestler during last Saturday's action at the Rampage Duals at the FHS Gymnasium. The host Red Rams posted a 4-1 record at the event. (Times photos by Geoff Neville)


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