Orange Wrestling

Orange Panther of the Week: Andre Hill

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is senior wrestler Andre Hill. This season, Hill won the 175-pound Central Conference championship at Walter Williams High School. It was the third individual championship that Hill won this season. In December, Hill won the championship of the Jim King/Orange Invitational when he defeated Giancarlo Evans of Hough 4-3. He also claimed the championship of the Eagle Invitational in Mebane on December 16. He defeated Zeke May of Western Alamance 14-10 in the championship match. Hill started off 2024 by winning the championship of the Quentin Crosby Invitational at Dudley High School in Greensboro. Hill defeated Bruce Dudley of Southern Guilford 8-3 in the championship match. On Saturday, Hill reached the 3A State Championship match at 175 pounds, wrestling inside the Greensboro Coliseum. On Friday, Hill defeated Mason Kincaid of West Rowan in the state semifinal match. He ended the year with a mark of 47-4 with 30 pins. Hill was also an offensive lineman for the Orange football team the past three years. He surpassed the 100 win mark for his career last month. Andre will graduate in June after a successful career in wrestling and on the gridiron. He is the second straight Orange wrestler to finish runner-up in the 3A State Championships. 

Orange’s Hill pins Kincaid, will wrestle for 175-pound state championship Saturday; Orange’s Crawford wins 100th career match

Andre Hill has survived the Mideast Regional championships and being an offensive lineman for the Orange football team the past three years.

On Saturday, he will try to become Orange’s first state wrestling champion in six years.

At the Greensboro Coliseum on Friday night, Hill pinned Mason Kincaid of West Rowan, the Midwest Regional champion, in 3;40 to earn a trip to the state championship match in the 175-pound tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum. It was Hill’s 25h pin of the season.

Hill will face Brock Sullivan of Union Pines, who finished as the runner-up in the 160-pound championship last year, in the 175-pound final. Sullivan, who won the Mideast Regional championship last week, defeated Kai Reece of First Flight 9-5 to improve to 53-2 on the season.

Hill, who finished 3rd in the 175-pound regionals last weekend at Union Pines High in Cameron, defeated two regional champions on Friday. To start the day, Hill earned a major decision over Landon Pope of Pisgah, the West Regional champion. Hill won the match 12-2 scoring six back points in the first period and conceding only one takedown, which happened when he was leading 11-0.

The last Orange wrestler to win a state championship was Josiah Ramirez, who won the 182-pound crown in 2018.

Last year, Orange’s Anoya Isley finished 2nd in the 195-pound championship match, where he lost to Dylan Smith of Fred T. Foard 10-4.

On Thursday, Hill defeated Kamar Brown of Northside-Jacksonville 9-4 in the opening round. Hill ended the match with six of the last seven points.

In the opening round on Thursday, Hill defeated Kamar Brown of Northside-Jacksonville. Hill avoided a single leg trip takedown attempt in the opening minute to force a restart, but Brown still got a double-leg takedown for the opening points with 43 seconds remaining in the first period. Hill earned an escape on the bottom, then notched a single-leg with four seconds left to take a 3-2 lead just before the opening period ended.

Hill worked from the top to start the second period, but Brown worked a reversal to retake the lead. Hill got fret even the match at 4-4, and nearly earned points with a double-leg but ran of room along the edge of the coliseum floor. Hill dodged Brown’s shot attempt and eventually gained his back for two points to go ahead 6-4 with 33 seconds remaining. Hill almost maneuvered Brown into a pinning predicament as the buzzer sounded. Brown appeared to have injured his neck and was checked on by a trainer between periods.

Hill worked free for an escape from the bottom to take a 7-4 lead to start the third period. He stuffed Brown’s takedown attempt and gained a takedown wrapping his hands together around Brown’s head. Brown had to be checked out again for an injury with 12 seconds remaining.

Orange senior Jared Hutchins, who won the 132-pound Mideast Regional championship, was the second Panther grappler to advance to the semifinals on Friday night. Bentley Sly of Stuart Cramer, the Western Regional champion, pinned Hutchins in 3:27 to reach the final.

Hutchins is now 32-8 on the season. In the opening round on Thursday, Hutchins pinned Gabe Smith of Ashe County in 5:33. Smith led 5-2 with 1:10 remaining in regulation before Hutchins earned an escape, then scored two takedown in the final minute. The last of which led to his 25th pin of the season.

On Friday, Hutchins earned a wild win over Andrew Fucci of Dixon. Fucci led 4-1 going into the third period. Hutchins scored three takedowns in the final frame, including two near fall points with seven seconds remaining that proved to be the margin of victory.

At 126 pounds, Orange junior Braden Crawford reached the 100 win mark in school history. Crawford defeated Takota Tala of Parkland 5-3 in the consolation round, scoring the final points with nine seconds remaining following a reversal. Gavin Nipper of Jacksonville defeated Crawford to eliminate him in the consolation round. Crawford ends the year 33-6 with 23 pins.

Cedar Ridge’s only representative to qualify for the state championships, Kaden Tatro, will not wrestle in the tournament after finishing 3rd in the 165-pound Mideast Regional Tournament. Tatro, a senior, ends his season with a 52-7 record, including 25 pins and 17 technical falls. Tatro concludes his Cedar Ridge career with 159 wins, second all-time in school history. The all-time record holder is still Chandler Collins, who had a career record of 166-31.

Orange’s Hutchins wins 132-lb. Mideast Regional title; Orange’s Hill, Crawford, Cedar Ridge’s Tatro go to state tournament

The 3A Mideast Wrestling Regional was an industrial shredder this year.

Of the 16 regionals across the state, the 3A Mideast was the only one that had both a dual team state champion (Union Pines) and the state runner-up (Eastern Guilford) in the same tournament. Throw in traditional powerhouses like Orange, Greensboro Dudley and Cape Fear and you have the makings of a field so deep, seeding nightmares became inevitable.

Orange senior Jared Hutchins earned the top-seed in the 132-pound tournament and survived, to the truest sense of the term, to win his first regional title at Union Pines High School in Cameron on Saturday.

In three dominant performances, Hutchins mowed through a deep field and scored a major decision over Logan Mitchell of Union Pines 14-6 in the championship match. Hutchins will be the #1 seed from the Mideast for the 3A State Championships, which will start Thursday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.

This season, Hutchins won individual championships at the Eagle Invitational in Mebane and the Joe Via Memorial at South Stokes High in Walnut Cove.

It will be Hutchins third trip to the state championships. Hutchins, who is now 31-4 with 24 pins this season, finished 5th in the 2023 3A State Tournament. He reached the semifinals in the championship round after pinning Luke Connick, the 3A Eastern Regional champion, in the second round.

As a sophomore, Hutchins finished 28-10 and won two matches in the state tournament.

Hutchins, who eclipsed 100 career wins earlier this month, pinned Cristian Ramos of Douglas Byrd in 1:54 in the quarterfinals. On Saturday, Hutchins pinned Jameer Farmer of Person in 3:13 to advance to the final.

This season, Hutchins was a senior on an Orange team that had ten new starters. As a veteran, he remembered what it was like to receive daily lessons in the school of hard knocks from early days as a Panther.

“It made me better,” Hutchins said during the Tiger Holiday Classic in December. “It’s helped me get to where I am now. I want to place in the top three in the state tournament.”

Hutchins is one of three Orange grapplers to qualify for the state championships. At 126 pounds, junior Braden Crawford qualified for the second year in a row. At 175 pounds, senior Andre Hill also reached the state tournament for the second time.

Cedar Ridge, which had four wrestlers reach the state tournament in 2023, had a difficult day. Senior Kaden Tatro finished third in the in the 165-pound tournament, beating Hunter Macklin of Dudley 10-1 in the consolation final. It will be Tatro’s third trip to the state tournament.

Overall, Tatro won four matches in the regional tournament to put his career wins total at 159. He is now in sole possession of 2nd place in school history, having surpassed Josh Collins total of 151, set from 2001-2005. Chandler Collins holds the record of 166 wins.

Tatro reached the 182-pound regional final last year.

On Saturday, Tatro, seeded #2, faced Troy Shannon of Terry Sanford in the semifinals. Tatro led 4-2 going into the third period, but was penalized twice for stalling in the final two minutes. The second warning came with nine seconds remaining, which tied the match 4-4. Shannon got a takedown with five seconds remaining for the decisive points.

Hill, the #2 seed at 175 pounds, pinned Trenton Westbrook of Cape Fear in 2:34 in the opening round. Cameron Perryman of Dudley upset Hill in the quarterfinals. Hill had to win four matches on Saturday in order to take third place.

He scored two pins and two technical falls to punch his ticket to Greensboro. He pinned NaZiah Rice of Westover in 2;50 in the consolation final. Hill is 44-3 on the season with 29 pins.

Crawford reached the semifinals at 126 pounds after pinfall wins over Emanuel Garcia of Person and Hunter Hill of Harnett Central. Shawn Bass of Dudley never trailed in beating Crawford 4-1 in the semifinals. Crawford bounced back to defeat Jazten Hall of Fayetteville 71st 5-0 to officially reach the state tournament. In the 3rd place match, Joseph Lloyd of Union Pines defeated Crawford via pinfall in 2:42.

The depth of the field worked to the detriment of numerous competitors from Cedar Ridge and Orange.

Cedar Ridge junior Pierce Prescod came into the 120-pound tournament with a 44-9 record. If Prescod was in, say, the 3A West Regional, that record would have likely earned him a #3 seed (which is what Aydan Mull of Tusculum received with a 43-12 mark).

In the Mideast, Prescod got a #5 seed, where he faced Eastern Guilford’s Tremayne McNeely in the second round. McNeely won 5-1.

In 2023, Prescod controversially fell one match short of the state championships when his opponent, Carson Cori of South Johnston, claimed he couldn’t continue due to an injured back after it was returned that Prescod illegally slammed him. Prescod, with a 44-11 record, didn’t make it to Greensboro.

This year, Prescod also fell one match short of the state tournament. Facing Keaton Crawford of Union Pines, Prescod led 8-3 going into the final period. Crawford scored a takedown with 35 seconds remaining to even the match, then got a takedown 44 seconds into sudden victory to move on to Greensboro.

It was the final tournament for Cedar Ridge senior James Este-Wittinger, who reached the state tournament in 2023. Este-Wittinger reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Chevelle Cade of Westover 3-2 in the consolation quarterfinals.

Orange wrestling seniors discuss Senior Night win over Eastern Alamance

If last week felt odd around wrestling circles, it was. For only the second time since the State Dual Team Wrestling tournament was instituted by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in 1990, Orange wasn’t in the field of 32. Orange, Cary, Davie County and St. Stephens shared the record for most appearances in the state dual team tournament with 33 appearances each. Nonetheless, the seniors for Orange wrestling celebrated Senior Night in style with a 57-24 win over Eastern Alamance on January 18. Andre Hill and Jared Hutchins were honored for 100 career victories. Also honored were Colton Jones, a starter at 144 pounds who has 13 wins this year; Rylan Brummer, a starter at 215 pounds; Talan Pearley, who was injured last month after starting the season with seven pinfall wins, Canaan Graphics, a starter at 165 pounds, and Chris Winstead, who is 20-15 at 106 pounds this season. Orange will venture to Cameron this weekend to the 3A Mideast Regionals at Union Pines High School. The opening round starts on Friday. The top four wrestlers from each weight class will qualify for the 3A State Championships at the Greensboro Coliseum, starting on February 15. The championship rounds will be held on February 17. Last year, Orange’s Acoya Isley wrestled for the state championship at 195 pounds. 

Orange senior Andre Hill discusses winning the 175-pound Central Conference championship

Orange senior wrestler Andre Hill captured the 175-pound championship at the Central Conference Tournament at Walter Williams High School in Burlington on Saturday, January 20. Though Hill was the first to admit that it was a controversial win. Facing Western Alamance’s Zeke May, Hill scored an escape point to go ahead 3-2 in the final period. After a restart with ten seconds remaining, May shot in for a takedown. It appeared to many that May scored a takedown, which would have put him ahead 4-3. But the referee ruled there was no change in position as the clock faded to zero. Hill preserved a 3-2 win despite protests from the Western Alamane bench and many fans in attendance. Afterwards, Hill admitted that May scored the takedown and consoled him. Nonetheless, Hill captured his first conference championship and improved to 39-2 on the season. In January, Hill celebrated his 100th career win as a Panther. Hill played offensive line for three seasons on the Orange football team. After winning the conference title, Hill will now focus on the Mideast Regionals at Union Pines High School in Cameron on February 10. Hill will look to qualify for the 3A State Championships. This season, Hill has already won the Jim King/Orange Invitational, the Quentin Crosby Invitational and the Eagle Invitational.

Crawford, Hill win Central Conference championships for Orange wrestling

BURLINGTON–If Braden Crawford was going to win the Central Conference championship, he had to finish it fast.

That was the message from his father after a blood stoppage of nearly five minutes at Walter Williams High School on Saturday afternoon. In the opening minute of the 126-pound tournament championship match against Southern Alamance’s Cameron Aiden, Crawford shot in for a takedown. Aiden wound up lifting Crawford up and briefly had his back over his shoulders. Crawford fell onto the mat face first and stayed there until the referee halted the action.

There was blood on the mat and Crawford didn’t move for a few seconds. It appeared possible that he would be unable to continue and Aiden would be declared the winner. But Crawford was fitted with a mask that shielded his nose.

If the match went beyond the first period, Crawford may not have been able to go on. So he aimed to finish it as quickly as he could. Despite his new head gear impeding his vision, Crawford scored a quick double-leg and earned the pin on Aiden at 1:28. He stayed long enough for the trophy presentation, then left for a nearby hospital to treat what was likely a broken nose.

Crawford, now 29-2 with 20 pins, earned his 20th pin of the season. He repeated as the 126-pound champion of the Central Conference. Last year at Orange High, Crawford pinned Williams Zy’Aire Priester of Williams in the championship match.

The championship round was filled with dramatic finishes. Orange’s Andre Hill officially defeated Zeke May of Western Alamance 4-3 to win the 175 pound championship.

If only it was that simple.

Hill, the top seed with an overall record of 39-2, ended the second period even with May at 2-2. Hill started the final frame from the bottom and finally earned an escape point with 1:20 left to go ahead 3-2. Hill nearly got a reversal but May escaped out of the circle. With ten seconds remaining, May shot in for a takedown and appeared to have a change in position that would have given him a 4-3 lead. Even Hill had a look of resignation on his face and he tried to balance out in the final seconds.

But the officials never made a signal for two points and the clock ran out, infuriating the Western Alamance bench who immediately protested. While Hill was declared the winner, he admitted afterwards that May was the rightful winner.

“Honestly, it probably should have been two,” Hill said. “I thought it was a bad call and I told him (May) that. I told his coaches that. I wanted to let him know he deserved credit for that.”

May defeated Hill 7-6 in the 170-pound championship last year at Orange.

On the day, Orange finished fourth in the team standings.

Juniors Logan Scarantino and Aidan Sierra each finished second in their respective weight classes. At 113 pounds, Scarantino pinned Gavin Smith of Western Alamacne in 30 seconds to earn a trip to the championship match. Tavern Moss of Person defeated Scarantino 7-1. Scarantino is 25-9 with 14 pins this season.

In the 120 pound tournament, Sierra opened by pinning Riley Neil of Southern Alamance in 4:16. Sierra nearly scored the pin in the opening period, scoring five back points in the second minute. Sierra led 7-0 after the opening two minutes.

Sierra held off Julian Combs of Person 9-8 in the semifinals. Combs opened with the first four points, including scoring the only near fall of the match. Sierra scored two reversals in the second period and led 8-4, but Combs scored a takedown just 17 seconds into the final stanza. Sierra got an escape to go up 9-6 and held on while Combs got a late takedown, but couldn’t press any further.


Wrestling weekend roundup: Orange goes 4-1 in West Stanly Duals; Cedar Ridge places four in Gate City Grapple

Orange Wrestling: Four Orange wrestlers went undefeated during its annual trip to Oakboro for the West Stanly Duals on Saturday.

In five dual matches, Orange went 4-1 on the day. The Panthers defeated Albermarle 47-27; defeated North Stanly 54-28; won over Scotland County 57-21 and rolled past West Stanly 50-27. Porter Ridge handed Orange its only loss 48-35.

Andre Hill, at 175 pounds, improved to 28-2 with five wins on the day. He pinned three opponents, finishing Kaine McLendon of Albermarle, Krizangel Flores of Porter Ridge and Wesley Shutt of West Stanly. Hill is now 28-2 with 20 pins this season. Hill was coming off a third-place finish at the Tiger Holiday Classic at Chapel Hill High School on December 22 and 23.

At 126 pounds, Braden Crawford also collected five wins to improve to 23-1 with 14 pins. Crawford pinned Maddox Cheek of Porter Ridge, Darius West of Scotland County and Mason Hyatt of West Stanly. He started the day with a technical fall over Andrew Weizer of Albermarle 17-2. Crawford has won his last nine matches.

At 138 pounds, Jared Hutchins earned three pins and two technical falls. He pinned Armando Popca of Albermarle, Max Montleleone of North Stanly and Donerio Graham of Scotland County. Hutchins also defeated Asland Demurchivev of Porter Ridge 15-0 in a tech fall. Hutchins earned another tech fall win over Kahle Martin of West Stanly 18-3. Hutchins who finished sixth at 138 pounds in the Tiger Classic, is 25-7 with 20 pins.

At 113 pounds, Logan Scarantino won four matches on the day, three by pinfall. Scarantino pinned Moises Carrillo of Albermarle, Henry Smith of North Stanly and Jared Gladden of Scotland County. He also had a forfeit victory over Porter Ridge. Scarantino is 18-4 with 12 pins this season.

Orange competed the whole day while having to forfeit in the 215 and 285 pound weight classes in each match.

Cedar Ridge Wrestling: Cedar Ridge was one of dozens of teams to compete in the Gate City Grapple at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex last weekend. The event moved to the Triad this year after residing in Charlotte since 2011.

57 teams from four states competed in the final event of the 2023 calendar year. Cedar Ridge placed four competitors en route to a 17th place finish.

The highest placer of the day was Pierce Prescod at 120 pounds. Prescod reached the consolation final, where he fell to Amir Wray-Hill of Deep Creek (VA) in a 9-2 decision. Prescod scored four wins in the event, including a thrilling victory over Hudson Catullo of Green Hope. Prescod won 7-6 in the opening round of sudden victory.

Prescod scored pins over Cody Michael of Northern Guilford and Faroq Busesou of Athens Drive. He reached the consolation final by beating George Coleman of Fred T. Foard. On the season, Prescod is 32-6 with 24 pins.

Kaden Tatro finished in sixth place at 175 pounds. Tatro opened by pinning Ricky Cedeneo of Riverbend (VA) in 1:01. Connor Reese of T.C. Roberson edged Tatro 4-2 in the second round, dealing the senior just his second loss of the season. In the consolation round, Tatro pinned Karvin Magwood of New Bern, and scored decision wins against Carson Wince of Shelby Crest and Ian Harris of Greensboro Page. James Ellison of Lumberton defeated Tatro in the fifth place match 5-0. Tatro is 32-4 this season with 16 pins.

Junior Ryan Rakouskas finished in eighth place at 157 pounds. Rakouskas opened with a Gurshan Singh of Deep End for his 19th pinfall of the season. After falling to Jacob Crump of North Pitt in the quarterfinals, Rakouskas pinned Reilly Berger of Woodmont in the consolation round. Rakouskas is 23-10 with 20 pins this season.

Angus Pritchard finished in eighth place at 150 pounds. Pritchard won his opening two matches to reach the quarterfinals. He started by pinning Jonathan Nguyen of Northeastern in the opening round, then pinned Trevon Waters of Central Cabarrus. Carson Main of Riverbend defeated Pritchard in the quarterfinals. In the consolation round, Pritchard defeated Patrick Martin of Catholic High School.



Hill, Hutchins, Crawford, Scarantino win championships for Orange wrestling at Eagle Invitational

Even with the youngest Orange wrestling team in years, the Panthers captured the overall title at the Eagle Invitational in Mebane.

Andre Hill, Jared Hutchins, Braden Crawford and Logan Scarantino all won individual championships at the event held at the Mebane Arts & Community Center on December 15 and 16. Hill captured the 175-pound championship, his second individual tournament championship this season, and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the upper-weight classes.

Hutchins, who scored pins in all four of his matches, claimed his first individual championship of the season. He was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the lower-weight classes.

Overall, Orange placed eight wrestlers to capture its first team title of the 2023-2024 campaign, finishing with 206 points. Southern Alamance, the Panthers’ Central Conference rival, finished second with 147.5 points. Randleman finished third at 142 points.

In the 175-pound tournament final, Hill defeated Zeke May of Western Alamance 14-10 in a match that had three lead changes. May scored the opening four points after a takedown 37 seconds into the match and scored two near fall points. Shortly afterwards, Hill scored an escape, gained May’s back and earned two back points of his own to take a 5-4 lead. May escaped to even the match 5-5 at the end of the first period.

May started the second period from the bottom and took a 7-5 lead after he mounted an escape. After May was penalized a point for stalling, Hill gained an 8-7 lead following a reversal. In the third period, Hill gained two more points after May was called for stalling. Hill earned a reversal point to go ahead 14-7 and rode out the win from there. Hill improved to 19-1.

In the opening round, Hill pinned Evan Gerringer of Southern Alamance in 1:52. In the quarterfianls, Hill built a 15-2 lead before he pinned Clinton Williamson of East Chapel Hill in 3:45. Hill scored his 15th pin of the season when he defeated Parker Peters of Northern Guilford in 4:11 in the semifinals.

Hutchins pinned Cameron Stokes of Bartlett Yancey in just 24 seconds in the 138-pound final to conclude a dominant run to the title. None of Hutchins’ four matches went beyond one minute long. In the semifinals, Hutchins pinned Chasen Phillips of Eastern Alamance in 45 seconds. Hutchins finished off Shane Shuster of East Chapel Hill in 23 seconds. He opened the tournament by pinning Jonathan Mosqueda of Western Alamance in 44 seconds. Hutchins improved to 18-3 with 15 pins on the season.

Two weeks after he won the Jim King/Orange Invitational, Crawford won the 126-pound championship when he pinned Trenton Coleman of Tunstall in 2:59. It was Crawford’s eleventh pinfall victory of the season. Crawford ended the tournament with a 18-1 record.

In the semifinals, Crawford defeated Jalen Allen of Northern Guilford 6-0. Crawford scored the opening takedown in the opening minute and never looked back. In the quarterfinals, Crawford pinned Riley Neil of Southern Alamance in 44 seconds. Crawford opened the tournament with a pin of Tha Moo of T.W. Andrews in 53 seconds.

Scarantino entered the 113-pound championship as the #2 seed. He defeated the #1 seed, Elijah Watson of Eastern Alamance, 11-1 in the final. After a scoreless first period, Scarantino earned the opening points of the match after he escaped with 35 seconds remaining in the second period. Scarantino’s finally got the opening takedown and earned three points for a near fall.

In the semifinals, Scarantino fought back from an early deficit to defeat Blake Abbott of Northwest Guilford 6-3. Abbott took Scarantino just 12 seconds into the match, but Scarantino escaped and earned a double-leg takedown to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period. Scarantino pinned Nattapat Bhorchim of Western Guilford in 31 seconds in the quarterfinals.

Several other Panthers placed for the first time this season. At 144 pounds, Talan Pearly came in third. In the consolation final, Pearly pinned Justin Shumaker of Bartlett Yancey in 3:45.

At 190 pounds, Jayden Medley was runner-up, the best finish of his career. In the semifinals, Medley pinned the #1 seed, Kaw Poe of T.W. Andrews, in 4:32. Chazz May of Western Alamance won the championship.

At 106 pounds, Chris Winstead finished 4th. Winstead pinned Moses Medina of Northwest Guilford in the quarterfinals. In the consolation round, Winstead pinned Zackary Pisani of Southeast Alamance.

Adrian Sierra finished fourth at 113 pounds. Sierra came away from the tournament with his eighth win of the season.


Orange senior wrestler Andre Hill discusses 3rd place finish at Tiger Holiday Classic

It was another strong finish for Orange senior wrestler Andre Hill at the Tiger Holiday Classic. At 175 pounds, Hill finished third in the midst of a deep field that included Kaden Tatro of Cedar Ridge and Brock Sullivan of Union Pines. Hill defeated Dominic Hittepole of Wheatmore to finish in third place on Saturday. Hill earned a 10-3 decision for his 22nd win of the season. Hill opened the tournament by pinning Matthew Lineberry of Gray’s Creek in 3:18. In the quarterfinals, Hill defeated Erik Pendlebury of St. Christopher’s (Virginia) in 1:34. Hill lost to Sullivan, the eventual champion, in the semifinals. Already tis year, Hill has won individual championships at the Jim King/Orange Invitational in Hillsborough and the Eagle Invitational in Mebane. Among his 22 victories, he has 18 pins. Hill has been an offensive lineman for the Orange football team the past three seasons, which helped helm cultivate his skills on the wrestling mat. This was the first time that Hill has placed in the Tiger Holiday Classic, one of the most prestigious wrestling meets in the southeast. This Saturday, Hill will look to conclude the 2023 calendar year in style. Orange will venture to Oakboro to participate in the West Stanly Duals.

Orange wrestler Braden Crawford discusses 126 lb. Championship in Jim King/Orange Invitational

Orange junior Braden Crawford captured his first Jim King/Orange Invitational on December 2nd. Crawford, a junior, pinned Tiaj Thao of Davie County in 1:02 in the championship match. Crawford entered the tournament as the #2 seed and opened with a pinfall victory over Jackie Crozier of East Chapel Hill in 3:16. In the semifinals, Crawford defeated Tremayne McNeely of Eastern Guilford 5-1. Following the championship at the Jim King, Crawford had a record of 7-0 with two pins. He went on to win three matches at the Cedar Ridge Quad at Cedar Ridge High School last week. Crawford pinned Nathan Vendura of Cedar Ridge. Crawford also won his match against Eastern Guilford via forfeit. Against Rosewood, Crawford defeated Brayden Holmes 6-1. Following a 2nd place finish at the Joe Via Memorial at South Stokes High School over the weekend in the 126 pound division, Crawford has a 12-1 record. Once again he faced McNeely, this time in the championship match. This time, McNeely captured the win in sudden victory 4-2. Crawford will continue his season against Person High School tonight in Roxboro in an important dual match. This is the youngest Orange wrestling team in years. Crawford, a junior, has found himself in a leadership role on a team that lost ten starters from last year.