Worsham, Summers & Tinnen qualify for state wrestling championships

Updated: February 16, 2020

Photo by Cassie Summers

Despite a down year by traditional team standards, Orange High wrestling will have three representatives at the 3A State Championships this week.

Brendon Worsham, Kessel Summers and Xavier Tinnen all qualified during the Mideast Regionals at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville on Saturday. Worsham, who had only four varsity matches entering this year, reached the finals of the 182 pound championship, falling to Eastern Guilford’s Perry Sharpe 13-10 in the final match.

On Friday, Worsham opened by pinning Alex Christian of Cedar Ridge in 3:40. Worsham pinned Carl Thames of West Johnston in 3:04 to advance to the semifinals.

On Saturday, Worsham defeated Walter Williams’ Joshua Shorter 11-3, becoming the only wrestler from Hillsborough to reach a championship final in the event. It was the 2nd time this year that Worsham finished 2nd in a tournament. In the Silver Fox Tournament at Riverside High in Durham on January 25, Worsham had a runner-up finish at 182 pounds.

Summers, a junior reached the state championships for the second year in a row. Competing at 126 pounds, Summers rolled past Union Pines’ Andrew Clark 14-5 in the 3rd place match. Last year, Summers finished third at 113 pounds in the regionals at Southeast Guilford High, where he pinned Southern Durham’s Shyheem Davis at 4:57 to move on to Greensboro.

Tinnen, who was 8-3 last season wrestling at 220 pounds, finished fourth at 195 pounds. This was the first time that Tinnen participated in a regional championship. Last year, Donald Hicks competed at 195 pounds for Orange, while Jake McBroom wrestled at 220.

On Friday, Tinnen pinned East Chapel Hill’s Fathi Awawdeh in 1:06, then pinned Eastern Alamance’s Gonzalez Turner in 1:22. In the semifinals, Westover’s Marcus Williams pinned Tinnen. In the consolation round, Tinnen defeated Malachi Nettles of Trinity to clinch a spot in the state tournament. Southern Durham’s Jamae Blank defeated Tinnen for third place.

The career of Orange heavyweight Juan Navarro came to an end shy of reaching his goal of qualifying for the state championships. Navarro faced Chapel Hill’s Benjamin Yates in the opening round, two weeks after their match in the regular season went past triple overtime and into a ride out. On that night, Navarro escaped and won 3-2. On Friday, Yates pinned Navarro at 5:59.

Navarro rebounded to beat Cedar Ridge’s Louis Tedder and Union Pines’ Kellen DeVries in the consolation round. Northwood’s Ben McGaughnea pinned Navarro, who won over 80 matches in his Orange career despite starting only the past two years.

Cedar Ridge’s season ended on Saturday. Freshman Fernando Martinez and Alex Davis came the closest to reaching Greensboro. Martinez was eliminated in the consolation semifinals by Southern Durham’s Ashton O’Neal via forfeit. Martinez pinned Western Alamance’s Evan Connetta in 1:18 of the opening match, then he reached the semifinals after beating Grey’s Creek’s Zane Ray 15-9. Chapel Hill’s Lucas Daly defeated Martinez by technical fall and was injured during the match.

Davis, competing at 138 pounds, also reached the semifinals. In the opening round, he pinned Western Alamance’s Mason Hogsed in 2:41. Davis defeated Harnett Central’s Jorge Cruz in 3:05. Union Pines Aaron Faison, who won the championship, pinned Davis in 4:30. Kaleb Williams of Fayetteville Byrd, who eliminated Orange’s Henry Joubert-Stenzel earlier in the day, defeated Davis 12-1.

The 3A State Championships get underway at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum. The consolation rounds start Friday morning at 9, while the championship semifinals will be at 6 PM. The Championship Finals will be held at 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

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