While the rest of the world was asleep, still ringing in the new year, Pride wrestling was on the prowl. Whether it was bright and early or the dead of night, the Pride spent each day of the new decade the only way they know how: training. That extensive training and workhorse mentality worked wonders for them only four days into the year at the Cap Seven/Nac Six Challenge.
The Cap Seven/Nac Six Challenge is a dual team tournament hosted annually at Millbrook high school featuring all CAP 7 teams (excluding Cardinal Gibbons) and all Nac Six teams (excluding Corinth Holders). This year, however, Enloe had to pull out last second, leaving the always tough Middle Creek team to fill in. The tournament ended in a three way tie with Leesville, Millbrook, and Middle Creek all going 5-0 on the day–an impressive showing to kick off the new year.
Leesville wrestling started off strong with an overwhelming 64-18 victory over Rolesville. The Pride simply overwhelmed Rolesville, who had little-to-no answer for the quality of wrestlers thrown at them. In fact, every Pride wrestler who won their match (which was all but two) won via pinfall, each earning bonus points for their team. This first duel was a fantastic confidence booster going into the tournament.
The Pride somehow managed to top their previous win in their very next duel, trouncing Knightdale 72-6. Pride football players Andrew Doss and Nigel Gibson, with their football season now over, made their triumphant return to the mat in this duel. Both Doss and Gibson won bonus points wearing Leesville colors for the first time this season.
In the next round, Leesville faced long time rivals Wake Forest on the mat. The Pride came away with a dominant 55-24 victory over the Cougars, making a huge statement in the regional team race. While all in friendly competition, the match was not without animosity, as Pride wrestlers Jacob Polansky and Andrew Doss both came away with wins over ranked opponents.
In their tightest bout of the day, the Pride pulled out a 48-30 win over Heritage. This action-packed matchup featured big points exchanged on both sides of the mat and a dangerously close score near the middle of the dual. Despite the adversity, Leesville wrestling emerged victorious once again.
For what would be the final duel of the day, Leesville faced off against Wakefield in an exciting closing match. Wakefield started off strong, but it was Leesville’s lower weights who sealed the deal. Maximus Buico, Richie Rizzuto, and Cole Patterson’s three consecutive pins were nails in Wakefield’s coffin. Their impressive performances would carry the Pride to a 52-24 victory to close the day.
There’s no better way to start 2020 off than with five consecutive wins and a duel team championship. Though the Pride performed admirably, their training resumes Monday morning at 5:30 a.m.
On Wednesday, January 8, the Leesville will travel to Millbrook once again, this time to face the Wildcats and the Broughton Capitals in a conference tri-meet…you won’t want to miss it.