Wildcats continue gaining momentum


By Amanda Dodson - adodson@civitasmedia.com



Micah Hopwood prepares to wrestle at the Joe Via Tournament at South Stokes on Saturday.


Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

Kenneth Vestal is one of Wests’ two wrestlers in the 220 weight class.


Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

Nick Smith sizes up his competition.


Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

West Stokes wrestlers competed in the annual Joe Via Memorial at South Stokes on Saturday. Carson Goins (106) and Tino Ramirez (152) finished second place in their weight class against 11 schools.

“Carson and Tino wrestled well,” said West Stokes coach Buck Watkins. “Carson was a little under the weather heading into the match. He didn’t bring his best, but I give him all the credit for going after it. It really shows me he wants to compete and you can’t teach that as a coach. I’m excited for his future in this sport.”

Watkins said Ramirez was another tough contender on the team. In the finals he went up against a 4A competitor, top eight in the state.

“He’s had a huge turnaround from a year ago. One little correction in the match could have possibly changed the outcome which we’ll work on this week. It’s the little things that make a difference between winning and losing in wrestling,” he said. “Both young men are where they need to be right now and will continue to get better. It’ll all peak in February.”

Other winners were Victor Moore (120) who went 1-2, Tim Hurd (138) finished 1-2, Steven Wright (160) 1-2, and Jacob Conn (170) 1-2.

“Noah Hall placed second in JV. I saw him wrestle his best matches of the season so far,” the coach said. “Garrett Lowe placed fourth and wrestled his best as well. I have a lot of young guys who really improved this weekend and I’m proud of them.”

West Stokes finished in seventh place and South Stokes ninth.

“The tournament was very good. South’s Coach Amos does an excellent job bringing in great competition. I was excited for my guys to see it and see how well we would compete against some of the best in the state,” Watkins said.

The coach continues to stress building on the fundamentals with his team.

“We want to improve on takedowns and setups and becoming better on the mat chain wrestling. We have a long way to go, but we’re getting there,” Watkins said. “On Saturday, 85% of the time we scored the first takedown in the matches, we won. It’s important to score first. That’s what makes wrestling exciting and brings people to watch.”

The coach added, ““I have a great group of young men; they’re very polite and respectful, but we have to learn to flip the switch on the mat and get a little mean when taking opponents down.”

West Stokes travels to Statesville this Saturday and RJ Reynolds High School on Dec. 21 and 22.

Team Scores: 1. Morehead 195.5, 2. Southeast Guilford 146, 3. Ben L. Smith 142, 4. Ledford 119.5, 5. Northwest Guilford 87, 6. Mt. Airy 72, 7. West Stokes 46, 8. McMichael 33.5, 9. South Stokes 33, 10. RJ Reynolds 17, 11. Greensboro Day 0

Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.

Micah Hopwood prepares to wrestle at the Joe Via Tournament at South Stokes on Saturday.
http://thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_westwrestle.jpgMicah Hopwood prepares to wrestle at the Joe Via Tournament at South Stokes on Saturday. Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

Kenneth Vestal is one of Wests’ two wrestlers in the 220 weight class.
http://thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_WestWrestler.jpgKenneth Vestal is one of Wests’ two wrestlers in the 220 weight class. Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

Nick Smith sizes up his competition.
http://thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_wildcatwrestler.jpgNick Smith sizes up his competition. Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

By Amanda Dodson

adodson@civitasmedia.com

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