Wolverine wrestling denied trip to state tournament

Published 11:12pm Thursday, February 20, 2014

by Mark Schmerling

Last weekend’s regional wrestling tournament at Owen High School, Black Mountain, proved a disappointing end for Polk County High School’s season, as no Wolverines qualified for this weekend’s state tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

“It fell apart for us yesterday (Sunday),” said head coach Phillip Miller.

Young grapplers Chase Emory (132 pounds) and Damien Cantrell (170) each lost by 2-0 decisions, leaving them one win away from state qualification.

“We were looking pretty good going into Sunday,” said Miller. Honestly, the kids we had there, had very good seasons.”

Miller expected at least a few wrestlers to compete in the state event. Polk’s talented heavyweight, Chase McMurray, hurt his shoulder in his first match, on Saturday, and was forced out of action. It was a disappointing end to a fine high school career for the senior. Anthony Marino (145 pounds), who won 21 of his most recent 24 matches this season, and Dustin Calvert (138) also made it through Saturday, but were unable to advance past Sunday’s competition.

Two other fine wrestlers, Franklin Sandoval (152 pounds) and Jerry Cox (195) were sidelined due to minor health issues, and could not compete.

For Sandoval, also a senior, it was also a disappointing finish to an excellent high school career. Marino, Cantrell, Emory, Cox and Calvert will be returning next year, as will others.

“I hate it for the kids,” said a disappointed Miller. “We’ve got next year.”

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