Wrestlers Make States
GEOFF NEVILLE, Times Sportswriter
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- Franklin County's three high schools journeyed to a trio of different destinations last weekend for their respective regional wrestling tournaments.
And each school returned with good news as the county will once again be well-represented at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships.
That event will be held this weekend at the historic Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets will be available at the gate.
Louisburg will be in the Class 1-A bracket following last weekend's trip to Asheboro for the East Regionals.
In the 160-pound classification, Louisburg's Malakai Briggs punched his state ticket with a fourth-place performance.
Briggs earned the final spot at 160 after falling in the third-place match. He went 2-2 at the regionals.
Louisburg also received a state qualification from Elijah Mitchell at 182. Mitchell came through with four victories as part of his busy weekend.
Stephen Falkner also earned fourth-place at 195, going 4-2 to make the states, where he will join teammates Briggs and Falkner.
On the Class 2-A level, Bunn had a profitable appearance at the East Regionals at Croatan High School in Carteret County.
At 120, BHS' Scottie Spencer made it all the way to the championship match, where he dropped a tough contest to Currituck's Samuel Hodge.
Still, that was good enough for Spencer to make the states, but he wasn't the only Wildcat to claim the prestigious honor.
In the 170-pound weight classification, Bunn's Jeremy Cope clawed through a series of tough opponents to eventually take the third position.
Cope won the third-place match with a second-period pinfall of Hertford County's Montez Bishop.
Rounding out the county mat heroics were the Franklinton Red Rams, who participated in the Class 3-A East Regionals last weekend at Cleveland High School in Johnston County.
Jackson Lusk, only a freshman, picked up a state spot courtesy of a fourth-place effort in the 113-pound weight class.
Joining Lusk at the states will be teammate Nadim Qazizada, who claimed fourth place overall at 132.
But the Red Rams weren't finished for the day. At 160, Franklinton star Will Germann won three matches to qualify for the finals, where he was topped by River Carroll from Swansboro.
Franklinton's final state spot was nabbed by heavyweight Devin Patterson, who overcame some late-season injuries to take third place in the heavyweight classification.
Patterson delivered a pin over Jacksonville White Oak's JoaQuin Spells in the third-place match.