Exactly 624 wrestlers from some 220 high schools will invade Greensboro Coliseum today and Saturday for the N.C. High School Athletic Association State Tournament Championships, but a group of 11 will stand out from the crowd.
Nine of them are from High Point Andrews, which has a chance to make history by winning its fifth straight Class 3-A state championship.The other two - Albemarle's Mike Kendall and Burlington Cummings' Stevie Wilson - have already broken the state record for career wins. Wilson has 150 to Kendall's 149; the next two days will determine which of their names goes in the state record book.
Andrews joined an elite group of three schools when it won its fourth straight title last year. Old High Point High School owned the title from 1952-55 and Boone Appalachian put together four-year runs in 1957-60 and again in 1962-65, but no school in the 39-year contiguous history of the tournament has won five straight.
Wilson and Kendall, both 130-pound seniors, recently eclipsed the record of 143 career wins set in 1989 by Cary's Pat King. State championships by Wilson and Kendall - Kendall in 1-A / 2-A and Wilson in 3-A - would give them another four wins each and assure Wilson of holding on to the record with a 154-13 record to Kendall's 153-0.
Kendall, however, can become the first North Carolina wrestler to win four consecutive state titles.
Wilson was a runner-up in the state finals last year but Buddy Fowler, his 140-pound teammate, places Cummings among three area schools that will enter defending weight class champions.
Andrews' Carlos Hough, the champion at 103 last year, has racked up a 32-0 record at 112 and George Attmoore of Winston-Salem Mount Tabor will shoot for a repeat title at 160.
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