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It’s a shame that for the first time since 1990 there will be no Brunswick County High School Wrestling Tournament.
This year’s event was set for Jan. 16 at South Brunswick High School, but it had to be canceled because it fell during the week of final exams and there was no way to reschedule it.
“I’m kind of disappointed, not necessarily for me or the coaches, but I’m disappointed for the kids,” West Brunswick coach Jimmy Caraway said at Saturday’s Scorpion Heritage Classic in Leland.
Because students are taking first semester final exams next week, there will be no high school sporting events until Friday, when South Brunswick and North Brunswick return to the basketball court.
“We can’t do it during exams. I understand that. I don’t have any problem with that,” Caraway said. “I would rather not wrestle than have a kid fail an exam because of wrestling.”
Once the Jan. 16 date was ruled out, coaches said there was no way to reschedule the county tournament. Wrestling teams are not allowed to participate in more than one tournament per week, and the rest of the season was already booked.
“It’s just the way it worked out,” said South Brunswick coach Jack Southern. “We just couldn’t do it because they scheduled it during exams and the principals of the other schools wouldn’t let them come to it.”
The county tournament began in 1991, and through the years it has become one of my favorite events. When West, South and North get together on a wrestling mat, it is always intense and often unpredictable.
Most people don’t know about it, but there’s some pretty good prep wrestling talent in Brunswick County.
West Brunswick has three grapplers—Dylan Bernier, Josh Sergent and Dixon Floyd—who are currently ranked in the top 10 in the state in their weight class. South Brunswick brothers Jeremy and Sammy Roundtree are among the best in their class as well.
Through the years, the county tournament has allowed accomplished wrestlers such as these to showcase their talent and less experienced wrestlers the opportunity to pull some surprises.
Because of the way the schedule worked out, Sergent, Sammy Roundtree and Floyd will be denied the opportunity to become three-time county champions.
And wrestling fans will be denied the drama that was certain to unfold in the 215-pound weight class, where North’s Bryant Burton and South’s David Cochran are as equal as two wrestlers can get.
The coaches plan to get together at some point and select an “all-county team” based on regular-season results and head-to-head meetings in dual meets or other tournaments.
I suppose that’s better than nothing, but it’s not the same as getting every wrestler in the county together in one gymnasium for one night and deciding it on the mat just as they have done for the past 17 years. I’ll miss it.