Cape Fear High School’s wrestling team rolled Merry Christmas and Happy New Year into one over the holiday break with some outstanding performances in a couple of tournaments.
Cape Fear’s Dallas Wilson was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the WRAL tournament en route to winning the 138-pound weight class. But the best was yet to come for the Colts in Charlotte’s Holy Angels tournament at Bojangles Arena.
Wilson and 170-pound Jared Barbour were both individual champions and helped lead Cape Fear to the team title in the event that draws some 80 high school teams from both North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.
The success at WRAL and Holy Angels vaulted Cape Fear from unranked to No. 1 in the East and No. 2 in the state among 3-A schools in the NCMat.com statewide rankings that were updated Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Cape Fear coach Heath Wilson said the performance of his wrestlers in the consolation rounds proved crucial in winning the team championship at Holy Angels. Cape Fear finished with 165.5 points to beat St. Stephens High School of Hickory with 149. St. Stephens is the No. 1 team in 3-A in the NCMat.com state rankings.
Barbour’s win at 170 was especially crucial for the Colts. In the WRAL tournament, he lost a tough battle to Cael Willis of Wilmington Laney, the No. 1 ranked 4-A wrestler in his class in the state according to NCMat.com.
Barbour, who is No. 1 in 3-A, rebounded and got the win in the Holy Angels tournament.
Cape Fear returns from the holidays for a big Patriot Athletic Conference match at South View on Wednesday, Jan. 9, then goes to one of the state’s biggest regular season tournaments, the Sarah Wilkes Invitational at Eden Morehead High School, Jan. 11-12.
That same weekend, Jack Britt holds Cumberland County’s biggest regular season tournament, the annual Boneyard Bash.
December high school basketball is most often a blur and quickly forgettable when January rolls around. The boys are especially in flux because many teams are awaiting the arrival of players from football who got a late start because of the state playoffs.
The blur continues into the early days of January. Now that the date for the semester break has changed, when Cumberland County returns to school Monday, Jan. 7, the students who have been academically reinstated for the second semester and the ones who lost eligibility because of inadequate academic performance in the fall will be known. Then, coaches can move forward with complete rosters for the rest of the season.
Looking back briefly at the Southeastern Athletic Officials Association Holiday Classic results, here’s who appear to be the top teams coming out of December.
Seventy-First’s boys and Westover’s boys, finalists in the Ike Walker Sr. bracket of the Holiday Classic, look to be serious contenders in their respective leagues. Seventy-First won 57-54.
For the girls, E.E. Smith is clearly the team to beat but finds itself playing in a strong Patriot Athletic Conference. Smith is 13-1, 6-0, but only beat Terry Sanford 57-54 in the Gene Arrington bracket finals. Terry Sanford is 9-1, 5-0, and has yet to play Smith in a league game.
Record-wise, Jack Britt’s girls are the best of the county teams in the Sandhills Athletic Conference. Britt finished third in the Arrington bracket, losing 60-33 to E.E. Smith in the semifinals.
Britt is 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the league.
Photo: Dallas Wilson