State Tournament Series Commentary
Hello NCMaters and welcome back to The Grind. It's been awhile since the last update, but here we are with another edition of The Grind for your reading pleasure. With the season recently completed, and the off-season in full swing, I decided it had been long enough since the last update. With this edition, I will be discussing the state tournament series from this past season, as well as some observations from my perspective pertaining to the state tournament and some other situations pertaining to the NCHSAA.
First, a quick congratulations to all the teams that won a state championship this past season. Those teams are Rosewood (1A Duals), Uwharrie Charter (1A Individual), West Lincoln (2A Duals), Fred T. Foard (2A Individual), Piedmont (3A Duals and Individual), Cary (4A Duals), and Mooresville (4A Individual). Winning state titles is no easy task, and for some of the coaches of these teams this was their first ever state title win. Those coaches will attest to that fact. That being said, the team races in each division will be wide open again next season. The current off-season will dictate much of what happens in February next season. Take heed to that message.
In the 1A division, Rosewood ended up winning the war with Uwharrie in the semi-finals and then went on to win the state duals. I thought Uwharrie would bring the dual title home, but it wasn't meant to be as Rosewood made a couple of lineup changes that lead them to victory. Having a coach as Rosewood does (or did, and more on that later) that knows how to put the Xs and Os in the right spot can be the big difference sometimes. Some programs across the state have the team athleticism and talent to win dual titles, but the coaching lacks the insight on how to make the appropriate adjustments to get the job done. That wasn't the case with Rosewood, and as a result, they brought home the state championship. Uwharrie brought home the 1A state tournament title demonstrating their greatness as mentioned here previously on The Grind, and proving the 1A division was a two team race with a couple of other great teams that deserved to be in the conversation. I suspect next season these two teams will continue their rivalry for the 1A state championships.
West Lincoln shocked the wrestling landscape by upsetting Fred T. Foard en route to bringing home the 2A state dual championship. I saw a video posted online that illustrated the excitement that only the state duals can bring after winning a highly anticipated and highly contested dual meet. West Lincoln's win is a true demonstration of why the matches are wrestled and decided on the mat. They believed and they overcame. Foard rebounded though to win the 2A state tournament with West Lincoln finishing 2nd. In retrospect, the 2A division was a two team race all along with another team or two in legitimate contention.
Over in 3A, the most dominant team in any of the four classifications was Piedmont. Piedmont won both of the 3A state titles after a tremendous season that saw them get off to a slow start due to injuries, etc., but after getting the team together they never looked back. Not that it was easy, becau