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Comets grapplers ready for tourney

The Halifax County High School wrestling team heads into Saturday’s Western Valley District Tournament at Franklin County High School with a good head of steam generated by a pair of wins here Tuesday night on Senior Night.

Halifax County High School defeated the Franklin County High School “B” team 45-19, and scored a 6-3 win over nearby Randolph-Henry High School in match that had only two contested bouts.

“Anytime you get two wins it’s a good night,” said Halifax County High School Head Coach Brady Taylor.

“We’ll take them no matter how we get them. It was a good tune-up for the district tournament. It allowed us to work out some kinks and go over some things we needed to work on before the district tournament.”

The Comets earned splits in both of the regular-season Western District Preview dual tournaments. That, and the fact that the Comets finished their season on a good note has Taylor upbeat about his team’s chances in this weekend’s district championship tournament.

“The lineup we’re taking into the district tournament, far as individually from top to bottom, is one that I’ve been the most comfortable with in the last couple of years,” Taylor explained.

“We’re not just throwing bodies out there. We have kids that have a chance to win every match they’re in. We’re not putting any sacrificial lambs out there just to have somebody wrestle in the district tournament.”

In a lot of instances, the seedings of the individual wrestlers in their respective weight class bracket play a role in the outcome for both the individual wrestler and the team.

“I think we’ll have a bunch of mid-level seeds, two seeds and three seeds,” Taylor noted.

“You really want a one seed. If you don’t have the top seed, it really doesn’t matter much because two seeds will wrestle three seeds and four seeds will wrestle five seeds. It’s more advantageous to be on the opposite side of the bracket from the number one seed so that you wrestle the top seed in the finals, and not the semi-finals.”

Taylor said it is imperative that every wrestler on each of the five district teams gives a solid effort in Saturday’s district championships as berths in the Northwest Region Tournament will be on the line in the tournament. 

“Everybody that gets to the Northwest Region Tournament this year is going to have to earn it,” Taylor pointed out.

“We’re going to have to win some matches to get into the regional tournament. There are very few weight classes that are not full.”

The Comets had a good night in Tuesday night’s regular-season finale, picking up two wins to enable the team to finish with a 15-13 record in regular-season dual matches. 

“Our goal every season is to win 20 matches, and we came close to that,” Taylor said.

“There were a few matches in which we left some points out there on the mat, but overall, it’s been a pretty good season.”

The Comets won four of the six contested matches in the 45-19 win over the Franklin County High School “B” team. Kevin Boddie (182), won a decision in overtime after his opponent was penalized a point for an infraction and Ezra Walker (285) needed only 14 seconds to pin his opponent.

Zack Carlson (113) and Krunal Patel (120), also won their respective matches with pins.

Ethan Collie (132), Gannon Griffin (145), James Anderson (160) and Tommie Hairston (170) won their matches by forfeits.

Hairston won an exhibition match, and Carlson came back to win a major decision in an exhibition contest. Collie and Griffin lost decisions in exhibition contests.

In the two contested matches with Randolph-Henry High School, Walker lost a decision and Anderson scored a win with a pin.

All in all, it was a good night on which to end the regular-season campaign.

“While we’re happy with the win and we wrestled well, we’re not satisfied,” Taylor pointed out.

“We know we can get better.”





182 – Kevin Boddie (HC) dec. Andrew Mayo (FC) 10-9 (OT)

220 – Double forfeit.

285 – Ezra Walker (HC) pinned Rogelio Perez (FC) 14 sec.

106 - Phillip Bynum (FC) won by forfeit.

113 – Zack Carlson (HC) pinned Kendrick Cobbs (FC) 3:08.

120 – Krunal Patel (HC) pinned Hunter Smith (FC) 1:27.

126 – Trey Shafer (FC) dec. Spenser Conner (HC) 13-7.

132 – Ethan Collie (HC) won by forfeit.

138 – Devin Jones (FC) maj. dec. Sebastian Brion (HC) 14-6.

145 – Gannon Griffin (HC) won by forfeit.

152 – Justin Rakes (FC) won by forfeit.

160 – James Anderson (HC) won by forfeit.

170 – Tommie Hairston (HC) won by forfeit.


Exhibition Matches

180 – Tommie Hairston (HC) pinned Andrew Mayo (FC) 

113 – Zack Carlson won maj. dec. 14-0.

138 – Devin Jones (FC) dec. Ethan Collie 10-3.

152 – Justin Rakes (FC) dec. Gannon Griffin (HC) 8-7 (OT)





285 – Nick DeJarnett (RH) dec. Ezra Walker (HC).

160 – James Anderson (HC) pinned D.J. Cook (RH) 44 sec.