HOLLY SPRINGS — The start to the year has been good to the Holly Springs wrestling team, which defeated Southwest Wake Athletic Conference foe Fuquay-Varina 82-0 on Wednesday night.
For one, the Golden Hawks are healthier than they have been to start the season in years past. Also, Holly Springs (10-1, 2-0) doesn’t have to rely on its lighter weights as much.
The middle and heavy weight classes are where the most experienced wrestlers are, while the lightest six weights feature four first-year starters.
“In the past years it’s been up to the 106-, 113-, 120-(pound classes); they always had to get pins and be 100 percent every week,” said 160-pounder Daniel Richardson. “Now, they don’t have to get pins, they don’t have to always be the best because we have guys to back them up.”
Holly Springs rolled by Fuquay thanks to seven Bengals forfeits and six pins. Only the match won by 152-pounder John Cox lasted into the third period, winning 13-1 against Fuquay’s Taylor Highsmith.
“This year we have a lot more guys who are more aggressive and stay on their feet,” said 120-pounder Aaron Redus, who moved up two weight classes from last year and pinned his opponent in 44 seconds.
Five Golden Hawks are still undefeated on the season: Cam Devers, Redus, Cox, Richardson and C.J. Toogood.
Holly Springs isn’t looking ahead, but a Dec. 18 meeting with Cary looms on the horizon as a potential SWAC title match.
“I don’t think we’re in the best shape yet,” Holly Springs coach Brandon Inge said. “I just want to see us, no matter the opponent, going all out.”
Fuquay (1-2, 0-2) was without top wrestler Daniel Cockerill, who was out sick. The Bengals are under first-year head coach Travis Lucas, who was brought in about a month before tryouts began.
“That’s just not enough time,” Lucas said. “But it’s still a long season.”
Fuquay lost to Middle Creek on a tiebreaker in its conference opener.
“We’ve got to work on the team aspect and coming closer as a team,” Lucas said. “We’re still trying to find that heart ... since we’re so young.”
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