Tuscola grapplers finish second at James OrrWightman wins gold, Mountaineers claim five silver, two bronze medals
ROBBINSVILLE — The Tuscola wrestling followed its 48-30 WNC Athletic Conference win over Franklin Tuesday night with a second place finish overall at the James Orr Memorial Invitational Tournament on Saturday.
The “James Orr” is hosted annually by Robbinsville High School, which won the 2013 team championship, and this year’s field consisted of Avery, Alleghany, Hayesville, Hendersonville, Murphy, Smoky Mountain, Swain (third place) and Tuscola.
Six Mountaineers made it to their respective weight class championship matches as one won a gold medal and five captured silver medas for a second place finish.
In the 182-pound championship, Tuscola’s Clay Wightman earned a decision over Murphy’s Malachi Beaver.
Tuscola’s James Gibson (106), Ben Womack (138), Houston Dickens(145), Jeremiah Royer (152) and Jackson Neal (160) lost in the finals.
Robbinsville sophomore, Spencer McCoy (195) was named the tournament MVP.
“I’m excited about getting this team back on top.,” said Tuscola Head Coach Mark Williams. “They’ve been working so hard this year and this weekend they got a taste of where hard work and determination can take them. I am so proud of this team, my assistances and parents. We have been blessed and I give God all the credit.”
Also for the Mountaineers, Tanner Milner (120), Austin Kirkpatrick (132) and Sam Ross (220) fought valiantly in the beginning rounds, while Daniel Messer (126) and Justin Hogan (160) made it into the semifinals and earned bronze medals for a third place finish.
The Tuscola JVs got a chance to compete in the Orr JV Tournament in the annex gym. Thomas Hollingsworth (170), Dustin Robertson (170) and David Royster (152) battled it out on the mat and gained valuable wrestling experience.
Tuscola’s WNCAC match on Friday at 6 p.m. against visiting Brevard will be Senior Night.