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High school notebook: Huge wrestling tourney starts


9:54 PM, Nov. 29, 2012 EST

Former McDowell girls basketball coach Mike Silver will be inducted into the school's athletics hall of fame next week. / John Fletcher/jfletcher@citizen-times.com

HENDERSONVILLE — 

West Henderson coach Jeff Smith will not be as exhausted as his wrestlers once Saturday night rolls around.

But it will be close.

Smith's school hosts the annual Falcon Frenzy, a massive two-day event which includes 600 wrestlers and 28 teams spread out over six mats in two gyms.

Competition begins today at 6 p.m.

"We've been doing this for about 19 years, and it's taken on different forms until it's basically merged into what we have now," Smith said.

"We're able to run it with the facilities and amount of mats we have. It's a meat grinder, it's tough."

Gibbs (Tenn.) won last year's Falcon Frenzy. Smith expects this year's field to once again include out-of-state teams and a virtual who's who of Western North Carolina wrestling, too.

Enka is No. 2 in the latest NCHSAA 3-A tournament rankings from Retrorankings.com and should be one of the local favorites.

"We've got pretty much all the teams in Western North Carolina," Smith said.

"We don't have a problem finding teams. We're lucky in that regard."

The finals on Saturday are scheduled for about 6 p.m. Those matches will be contested on West Henderson's "Monster Mat" which measures 56 feet by 67 feet.

Compare that to the minimum standards for a high school mat - 38 feet by 38 feet.

Smith has been the Falcons' coach for 21 years and celebrated his 400th career dual-team win last season.

Local wrestlers top N.C. rankings

WNC wrestling is well-represented in the latest state rankings published by Retrorankings.com.

A dozen individuals are even No. 1 in their respective NCHSAA weight classes.

Roberson's Coburn Burroughs is the top 4-A wrestler at 195 pounds, while Enka's Kacee Hutchinson (220 pounds) occupies the same perch in 3-A.

Top-ranked 2-A wrestlers from WNC include North Henderson's Mitchel Langford (106), Colby Langford (126) and Zach Houston (138), along with Owen's Cole Leighton (182) and Jose Garcia (heavyweight).

In 1-A, the top-ranked wrestlers are Robbinsville's Zack Orr (113), Hendersonville's Bryan Wallace (145), Robbisnville's Joey Cable (152), Cherokee's Tavi Rivera (160) and Hendersonville's Rhett Hoy (220).

WNC soccer players make all-state team

Six players from WNC have been selected to the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association's all-state teams.

Reynolds sophomore forward Hector Gutierrez, Roberson junior defender Jonah Hodes and Roberson junior forward Austin Stamey made the 4-A team, while Asheville High senior forward Zach Joens and East Henderson senior forward Mackenzie Tittle are 3-A selections.

Finally, Hendersonville senior defender John Keenan received a spot on the 1-A team.

Silver part of McDowell hall of fame class

Former McDowell girls basketball coach Mike Silver is one of three individuals who will be added to the Titans' athletics hall of fame on Dec. 6.

Silver won a school-record 650 games, 28 conference championships (regular-season and tournament) and a NCHSAA 4-A championship (1991) in 32 years at the area's largest high school.

The WNC record for career wins in girls basketball is 702 and held by the late Tom Pryor.

Silver has not returned to the coaching profession since the McDowell Board of Education surprisingly decided not to renew his contact in 2007.

Former Titans girls basketball star Tammy McEntire and Joe Cash (basketball, football and track) are also part of the hall of fame class.

The induction ceremony will coincide with McDowell's home basketball games against Morganton Freedom.

 

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