When the NCHSAA 3A State Wrestling Championships were held at the Greensboro Coliseum, Tuscola had three wrestlers competing for individual titles.
When a young contestant enters the Greensboro Coliseum, it cannot be helped but to have a sense of awe. Hundreds of strong, lean and hungry wrestlers followed their coaches, bumping and nudging the way forward, through the wide open doors of then venue.
The wrestlers shuffled down dimly lit stairs into large rooms labeled “weigh ins” where official looking men holding paper-clipped checklists and black ink pens stood waiting to qualify them as “made weight.”
When someone shouted,” Tuscola, you’re up,” Tuscola wrestlers Aiden Ball, Mason Baker and Jadon Mintz all made weight. Let the tournament begin.
Tuscola wrestling results
106 lbs — Aiden Ball lost in first round
145 lbs — Mason Baker lost in first round
189 lbs — Jadon Mintz lost in second round
“Aiden (Ball) wrestled well, but being in a tough bracket he drew the number two seed, Josh Miller from Northwood (22-1). Even though he lost the match, it was a great learning experience for him,” said Head Coach Kyle Katz.
“Mason (Baker) took the number three kid in the state, Daniel Tiemay (22-2) of Concord, down through the third period. It was a pretty amazing match even if Mason didn’t get the win,” Katz said.
Jadon Mintz won his first round match against Jerrett Rayfield of Piedmont High School (26-4) by fall in 5:34.
“In the quarterfinals, Jaden met Perry Sharpe (21-4) from East Guilford. He had a really good lateral drop kind of throw. He set it up on Jadon. So that loss kept him from placing at least fourth in the state. He did make the top eight wrestlers in North Carolina and that is a great accomplishment for him,” Katz said.
“All in all, our kids wrestled hard, we had a good time and they got a different kind of experience that other wrestlers usually do not get,” Katz said.
As far as the future is concerned, Katz is optimistic. “All three of those kids will be back next year. I am kind of excited for next year. We have a solid group returning with good knowledge of leading others. And there are other wrestlers watching who are coming to Tuscola in the fall,” he said.