WINSTON-SALEM — The Ashe County Middle School Bulldogs made the trip to the 34th annual North Carolina Middle School/Junior High State Championship on Saturday.
Seventh grader Jaron Greer made the Bulldog faithful proud by capturing the seventh grade state title at 222 pounds. Greer pinned both of his opponents under 15 seconds to win the championship.
Ashe had four other seventh graders place in the top four.
122-pounder Gabe Bare beat Jaydan Speaks from River Bend Middle School by an 8-7 decision in the third place match. Preston Krips placed third at 154 pounds, Austin Taylor took fourth at 162 pounds and Jeffery Eldreth placed third at 184 pounds.
Overall, the seventh graders finished third in the state while the eighth graders were 24th. As a team, the Bulldogs placed 11th.
“This team next year will be incredible. We are ready to take it to the next level,” said ACMS head coach Alex Wray. “We get better every year. 1-9 my first year, 4-6 my second year, this year 7-3. Next year, undefeated.”
The future is certainly bright for the wrestling program, not only with eighth graders moving up to the high school, but also with current seventh graders and incoming sixth graders that have been hard at working taking part in several youth tournaments across the state and in Virginia.
“It means something to be part of something special. The Bulldogs are going in the direction, to the top,” said Wray. “I always tell them what you put into this sport you get out of this sport. These kids want to get better, they know what it takes to be a champion.”
Seventh grade results
95: Triston Spencer (Capital City Titans) pinned Justin Greene (Ashe) at 1:42.
95: Jeb Shuler (Far West) defeated Greene (Ashe) by a 5-1 decision.
108: Elijah Foster (Hominy Valley) pinned Jackson Risk (Ashe) at 1:14.
108: Bryce Sain (Far West) defeated Branson Blevins (Ashe) by an 8-6 decision.
108: Blevins (Ashe) pinned Risk (Ashe) at 1:57.
108: Brian Evans (Crest Middle) pinned Blevins (Ashe) at 1:38.
115: Wade Hamilton (Far West) pinned Levi Howell (Ashe) at 2:24.
115: Luke Coble (Southern Nash) pinned Howell (Ashe) at 2:40.
122: Gabe Bare (Ashe) pinned Lwel Too (Smith Middle) at 3:56.
122: Cain Early (Haywood Elite) pinned Bare (Ashe) in 50 seconds.
122: Bare (Ashe) pinned Abigail Martin (Yellow Jackets Wrestling Club) at 2:19.
122: Bare (Ashe) pinned Tanner Blackwell (Marvin Ridge) at 2:27.
122: Bare (Ashe) pinned Ryan Helms (Southlake) in 37 seconds.
122: Bare (Ashe) defeated Jaydan Speaks (River Bend Middle) by an 8-7 decision.
140: Keenan Witherspoon (Ashe) pinned Samuel Probst (Summit School) at 2:34.
140: Brandon Eudy (Panther Wrestling Club) pinned Witherspoon (Ashe) in 50 seconds.
140: Treston Elmore (Burns Middle) pinned Witherspoon (Ashe) at 2:26.
147: Chrystian Neal (West Lincoln) pinned Dakota Hendricks (Ashe) in 43 seconds.
147: Colby Maxwell (Hominy Valley) pinned Hendricks (Ashe) at 1:33.
154: Braden Taylor (Cherokee Wrestling Club) pinned Preston Krips (Ashe) at 1:17.
154: Christopher Coggins (Smoky Mountain) pinned Krips (Ashe) at 1:05.
162: Joseph Clement (Hominy Valley) pinned Austin Taylor (Ashe) at 1:39.
162: Taylor (Ashe) pinned Charles Andrews (Summit School) at 1:32.
162: Tristen Ingram (Mitchell) pinned Taylor (Ashe) at 1:39.
162: AJ Rollins (Madison) pinned Taylor (Ashe) at 1:14.
184: John Crowe (Cherokee Wrestling Club) pinned Jeffery Eldreth (Ashe) in 35 seconds.
184: Makayal Melville (McDowell) pinned Eldreth at 2:26.
222: Jaron Greer (Ashe) pinned Caleb Smith (McDowell) in 13 seconds.
222: Greer (Ashe) pinned Hunter Jones (Yancey) in 12 seconds.
Eighth grade results
95: Braden Riggs (Haywood Elite) pinned Trent Baker (Ashe) at 1:21.
95: Travone Craig (Yellow Jackets Wrestling Club) defeated Baker (Ashe) by a 5-4 decision.
108:Walt Gerard (East Carolina Buccaneers) pinned Torin Potter (Ashe) at 1:08.
108: Potter (Ashe) pinned Sage Buckel (Far West) at 2:39.
108: Potter (Ashe) pinned Keelan Lemmon (Salisbury) at 1:56.
108: Potter (Ashe) pinned Cody Burleson (Mitchell) at 2:00.
108: Potter (Ashe) defeated Riley Barger (Swansboro) by a 4-2 decision.
108: Tyler Morgan (Strong and Courageous Wrestling) pinned Potter (Ashe) at 1:00.
108: Henry McKenzie (Ashe) pinned Dustin Meadows (Madison) in 37 seconds.
108: Devon Triplett (Asheville) pinned McKenzie (Ashe) at 1:02.
108: McKenzie (Ashe) pinned Kolby Long (Alleghany) in 42 seconds.
108: Vernon Robertson (Yellow Jackets Wrestling Club) pinned McKenzie (Ashe) at 2:00.
115: Kamron McGuire (Far West) pinned Drake Elliott (Ashe) in 24 seconds.
115: Elliott (Ashe) pinned Esteban Hoyle (Top Dog Wrestling) at 1:46.
115: Elliott (Ashe) defeated Casey Kelly (Marvin Ridge) by a 6-4 decision.
115: William Berkowitz (Bulldog Elite) pinned Elliott (Ashe) at 2:00.
122: Lane Mease (Haywood Elite) pinned Max Pacheco-Perez (Ashe) in 31 seconds.
122: Brennan Ramsey (Dogtown Wrestling Club) defeated Pacheco-Perez by a 5-2 decision.
128: Cody Mullis (Ashe) defeated Thomas Bevis (Panther Wrestling Club) by 1-0 sudden victory.
128: Christopher Jones (Arrichion Wrestling Club) pinned Mullis (Ashe) at 4:00.
128: Mullis (Ashe) defeated Sam Everhardt (Far West) by a 5-2 decision.
128: Mullis (Ashe) defeated Damon Figeroua (Smoky Mountain) by a 10-3 decision.
134: Levi Harris (Hominy Valley) defeated Blake Hurley (Ashe) by a 9-0 major decision.
134: Luke Scronce (West Lincoln) pinned Hurley (Ashe) at 2:04.
154: Preston Mash (Ashe) pinned John Porter (Cougars) at 3:24.
154: Ian Hamilton (Smith Middle) pinned Mash (Ashe) in 54 seconds.
154: Noah English (McDowell) pinned Mash (Ashe) at 1:19.
162: Omar Aguilar (Hominy Valley) pinned Tyler Noblett (Ashe) at 3:16.
162: Christopher Bautista (Chapel Hill) pinned Noblett (Ashe) at 2:20.
184: Matthew Gilbert (Mitchell) pinned Isaac Miller (Ashe) at 2:54.
184: Dylan Buckner (McDowell) defeated Miller (Ashe) by a 6-3 decision.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87