West Stokes had 11 qualifiers compete at the 2A Midwest Regionals on Saturday: Eric Sink, Devin Newsome, Tim Hurd, Carson Goins, Noah Hall, Evan Wall, Tino Ramirez, Victor Moore, Nick Smith, Steven Wright, and Jacob Conn. Hurd finished as regional runner-up in the 138-weight class and qualified for the state championship at the Greensboro Coliseum next weekend.
“He won some tough matches. He doesn’t get rattled when he’s down by a few points. He knows he has the capability of winning every match at any given time,” said Wildcats coach Buck Watkins.
Although they didn’t make it to the podium, the coach said Ramirez, Goins, and Wright wrestled good enough to be at states.
“Some situations just didn’t go their way but I’m proud of all of them. Each guy came to wrestle their very best and put it all out there to win. We don’t wrestle an easy schedule so to get 20 plus wins is quite the accomplishment,” Watkins said.
The coach said he’s watched his team improve mentally over the last few months.
“Towards the end of the season we all finally started to believe. I’m excited we have a young team so these same guys who come back next year will be even stronger,” he said.
For the wrestlers who’ve wrapped up their season, Watkins is encouraging them to play different sports.
“I have some going to lacrosse and others to track. For those who aren’t, we’ll begin workouts in March. I’ll be working with them on learning freestyle and Greco roman wrestling. It’s important especially because these are the two styles that are in the Olympic Games. I want the boys to dream big and have the Olympics as a goal,” he said.
As Hurd prepares for Saturday’s state championship in Greensboro Watkins hopes he enjoys the moment.
“I want him to be excited. I also want him to know what he’s doing is something bigger than just for him but for our program, the school, and the community. I hope more young men will want to be a part of what is happening in West’s wrestling program.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.