Bartlett Yancey’s Dylan Wall finished as Mid State 2A Conference wrestling champ in his weight class during Saturday’s conference tournament, two others were runners up and Coach Rick Hill was named conference coach of the year.
The Bucs also took home the conference’s sportsmanship award.
“I was very proud of this regular season dual team,” Hill wrote in an email of his young squad. “We continued to improve throughout the season and were really wrestling tough in matches.”
He said he was “humbled” that, for the first time in his career, fellow coaches tapped him as coach of the year.
Bartlett Yancey, in rebuilding mode this year, finished the regular season 5-12 overall and 3-3 in conference matches. The team finished fourth in the seven-team league during the season, and third during the tournament.
The Bucs didn’t do well enough as a team to advance to post season competition. But Hill hopes that as many as 10 of his wrestlers will advance individually to regional competition Feb. 14.
Wall, a sophomore, was conference champion in the 182 pound weight class. Conference runners up were Aiden Pearce, a junior, in the 113 pound class and Triston Winn, a senior, at 160 pounds. All three were named all conference.
Placing third in the conference were Jakoby Cassellman at 138 pounds, Logan Church at 145 pounds and Blake Collins at 152 pounds.
Fourth place finishers included freshmen Paul Vogel at 106 pounds and Will Caldwell at 220 pounds, and senior first year wrestler Jalik McNair at 285 pounds.
Third and fourth place finishers earned honorable mention recognition.
“The season wound down on a high note with all our wrestlers starting to find their feet and better battle in matches,” Hill wrote. “We look to take this momentum from the end of the season and use it for motivation to tune ourselves up these next two weeks so that when Friday February 14th hits we are firing on all cylinders at regionals.”
The young team’s future, he wrote, “looks bright.”