White Knoll’s wrestling team returned to action last weekend at the Knightdale Duals in North Carolina. The Timberwolves, who jumped up to the No. 5 spot in the Class 4A rankings by scmat.com with a strong showing in the first month of the season, came home with a 6-2 record and a third place finish.
WK went 3-0 on pool matches, defeating North Carolina teams Northern Vance, Southeast Raleigh and Garner, to advance to the Division I championship round. The T-Wolves kept the winning streak alive with triumphs over Woodbridge (VA), Matoaca (VA) and Nack Central (NC). But the fun came to an end with back-to-back setbacks against two defending state championship teams – Orange High, the reigning 3A champs in North Carolina, and Colonial Forge, the reigning 4A champions in Virginia.
“Overall I believe the guys wrestled extreme well,” said WK coach Kevin Emily.
“We put together some solid wins over the weekend and were able to get eight matches in over a two day span. We stayed neck and neck with Orange throughout most of the dual but lost ground towards the end. Wrestling Colonial Forge was the best thing for us. It helped us remain grounded and focused on where we need to be at the end of the season. They're by far the toughest team we will face all year. The guys put up a good fight and didn't back down, which I was very proud of.
“After the tournament I talked to the team about what we needed to take away from this whole experience. Although we didn't bring home the championship, we wrestled hard and remained hungry. If we would have went up there and walked through the tournament it wouldn't have helped us one bit. I believe now my guys are more focused than ever. We keep placing second or third everywhere we go. I keep telling them to be patient and continue to be a student of wrestling by constantly learning. I feel that when the time is right we'll be ready to catch the big one we're fishing for.”
The T-Wolves have a big week on tap with a key Region 5-4A dual at Dutch Fork on Wednesday and a trip to the Bearcat Invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday in Rock Hill.