The Nation Ford Falcons wrestling team had two wrestlers win their weight classes at the Redhawk Invitational, and eight others who placed.
Sophomore Jeremy Kishbaugh and junior Dalen Byerley both won titles. Kishbaugh won 8-2 against South Stanly’s Cody Shields at 113 pounds, and Byerley won 2-0 against Monroe’s Malik Smith at 138.
Nation Ford finished sixth in the 13-team tournament and fielded wrestlers for 12 of the 14 weight classes, with all but two placing.
“We are still building, but we have a good foundation,” Falcons head coach Leon Boulware said. “We have got some confidence early in the season.”
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Seniors Robert Land and Major Strait and sophomore Todd Gardner all made the finals and finished second in their weight class.
Gardner was pinned in the first period by Cox Mill’s Cade Davis at 106 pounds. Land was pinned in the third period at 152 pounds by West Stanly’s Jonathan Lord, and Strait lost 14-6 to Kings Mountain’s Chance Fredrick at 195 pounds.
“Robert, Todd and Major were big surprises,” Boulware said. “We expected Dalen (Byerley) and Jeremy (Kishbaugh) to be our leaders.”
Nation Ford had two wrestlers in the consolation finals, with sophomore Dylan Curtsinger finishing third at 145 pounds by beating Union Academy’s Robert Rushing by pin fall in the second period.
Sophomore Jakob Gravely finished fourth after falling to Porter Ridge’s Coper Mueller 8-4 at 160 pounds.
At 132 pounds, junior Ben Cripe finished sixth, losing 12-7 to Cox Mill’s Nic Gee.
The Falcons had two wrestlers finish seventh, as sophomore TJ Giarrantana pinned Cox Mill’s Stephen Hieneman in the second period and junior Tay Sauls finished seventh at 182 pounds after winning by forfeit.
Nation Ford opens its dual season this week heading to South Pointe to face the Stallions and Lexington before heading to Greenville County next weekend to participate in the Southern Slam.