Tigers claim first boys’ state title

Fred T. Foard capped an amazing season on Saturday by capturing their first-ever state title in any boys’ sport.

Leading the charge for the Tigers was Hayden Albert, who finished as a state runner-up in the 160-pound weight class. That finish is a tie with David Bradan (2002) for the best overall finish in a state tournament in school history.

Also finishing strong were Jacob Harper and Dillon Johnson. Harper finished fourth at 145 pounds, and Johnson, who was a West Region champion at 171 pounds, finished in fifth place.

The team scores were extremely close in the 3A rankings, as the Tigers edged out Cameron Union Pines, 90-88.

St. Stephens finished third in the final rankings with 85 points, behind five top six finishes from Ray Farnsworth, Bradley Bader, Ian Martin, Alex Pollard and Jon Holloway.

In 2A, Newton-Conover had a strong showing by finishing fifth in the final rankings. Leading the charge were three finishes in the top-six, including Tyler Knopp, Rashad Kissler and Addison Klutz.

Knopp (53-9) finished in third place at 140 pounds; Kissler (53-4) finished third at 215 pounds and Klutz (55-7) was sixth at 145 pounds.
Bandys placed eighth behind strong finishes from Jake Nelson, Darren Parrish and Thomas Lundsford.

Richard Kerekes, of Maiden, finished in fourth place at 145 pounds, leading the Blue Devils to a 25th-place finish.

Bunker Hill finished in a tie for 33rd place. Brandon Hicks had the best finish for the Bears, as he was fourth at 130 pounds.

Pair win state titles

A pair of wrestlers from Catawba County took home state championships in their respective weight classes Saturday.

Ray Farnsworth, of St. Stephens, capped an amazing season at 119 pounds by winning a state championship. Farnsworth defeated Christian Holleman, of Havelock, in a dominant fashion, 10-0. Both were ranked as top seeds in the west and east entering the tournament.

Also taking home a state title was Bandys’ Jake Nelson, who won his second straight title. Nelson (47-2) won the state championship at 130 pounds for North Lincoln last season.

He repeated in the same weight class this season, defeating Croatan’s Robbie Gladwell by a narrow 3-2 margin.