Polk wrestlers win MF7 tournament title

Published 9:35 am Monday, January 22, 2024

In the wake of Polk County’s recent loss at R-S Central, head wrestling coach Thomas Hensley offered a simple prediction.

“I think we have a good shot to win the conference tournament,” he said.

Prophetic, that statement proved.

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The Wolverines did indeed win the team title at Saturday’s Mountain Foothills 7 Conference Tournament, becoming the first Polk County program to win an MF7 tournament title and earning the first conference tournament crown in wrestling since 2011.

Polk County delivered its title thanks in large part to six individual champions. That total is believed to be the most for the program at a conference tournament since 1990 when the Wolverines won nine titles at the Appalachian 1A Conference meet.

Polk’s 213.5 team points easily topped R-S Central’s 164.5. Brevard finished third.

The six Wolverines scoring conference titles included two freshmen – Efrain Rivera (106) and Zach McCraw (165) – and two sophomores – Amon Villarreal (120) and Zalen McCraw (175). Junior Jacob Ed (144) and senior Jadyn Virgil (215) brought home the other championships.

Ten of Polk County’s 14 wrestlers who competed Saturday are either freshmen or sophomores.

Sophomore Carson Bell reached the tournament finals for the second straight season and earned a runner-up spot at 150. The Wolverines also got third-place efforts from Brody Wolfe, Aiden Billings, Styler Blackwell and Luke Miller.