Virgil’s third-place finish leads Polk contingent at state 1A wrestling tourney

Published 12:15 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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Polk County senior wrestler Jadyn Virgil capped his career Saturday with a third-place finish at the NCHSAA State 1A Championships in Greensboro.

Virgil rebounded from a semifinal loss on Friday to win two matches Saturday. He pinned Thomasville’s Taj Gabriel, then scored a 9-7 decision over East WIlkes’ Tristan Alkire in the third-place match.

Virgil’s finish is the best for a Polk wrestler since 2020, when Preston Burnett placed second. He became only the sixth Polk County High wrestler to finish at least twice as a state placer, joining Juan Vera, Tyler Philpott, James Maxwell, Austin Ollis and Jim Ollis.

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Virgil took sixth at last year’s state 2A meet. The 1A meet recognizes the top four wrestlers while 2A, 3A and 4A honor the top six.

“Glad to finish strong with Jadyn,” said Polk head wrestling coach Thomas Hensley. “He’s a great example for the younger kids.”

Two other Wolverines had wins in consolation action on Saturday. Brody Wolfe won his opening match at 113 pounds, decisioning Caleb Saldana of Uwharrie Charter, before dropping a 4-3 decision to Kolton Hunter of Rosewood. At 1230 pounds, Amon Villarreal scored a 9-2 decision over Uwharrie Charter’s Brennan Worrell before falling 16-5 to Mitchell’s Bryson McFalls.

Polk’s Styler Blackwell lost a 5-0 decision to South Davidson’s Mason Leonard and Zalen McCraw fell 14-3 to Mount Airy’s Bryson Caudle in the opening round of consolation action.