ONE FEATHER STAFF REPORT
GREENSBORO – Four EBCI tribal members placed at the North Carolina 1A State Wrestling Championships held in Greensboro on Feb. 24-25. Tavi Rivera and Sam Wahnetah, both from Cherokee High School, took second place in their respective weight divisions. Colby Yanez, Cherokee, and Spencer McCoy, Robbinsville, took fourth place in their divisions.
In his first match, Rivera (160lb. division) defeated Jeshua Ray, NCSSM, by technical fall (16-0). He then won a decision (6-2) against Stephen Bomar, Mitchell. In the state finals on Saturday night, he lost a decision (9-5) to state champion Jacob Fregia (East Surry).
Wahnetah (285lb. division) cruised to the state finals pinning his first two opponents within the first 90 seconds. In the first match, he pinned Tyler Hudson, Dixon, at the 1:11 mark and in the next match he pinned Chad Woods (East Surry) in under a minute at :51. In a hard fought final, Wahnetah was edged by a decision (3-1) to state champion William Robertson (North Rowan).
Yanez (145lb. division) pinned Blake Holister (Pamlico) in his first match at the 4:29 mark. He then lost a decision (5-2) to Zach Winegardner, the eventual state runner-up, and had to drop into the lower bracket.
There, he won a decision (9-5) over Daniel Allen (Swain) to advance to the third-place consolation match. Yanez narrowly lost a decision in that match (4-3) to Alex Ortiz (Central Academy).
McCoy (195lb. division) had a little harder go at it to garner his fourth place finish. He lost his first match as he was pinned at 3:24 by Jason Gulotta (Central Academy) who was the eventual state champion. From there, he dropped to the beginning of the lower bracket.
In his next match, he pinned Jared Turbyfill (Swain) at the 2:39 mark. He then won a decision (9-2) over Taylor McGill (Rosewood) to advance to the third-place consolation match. In that match, he lost a decision (9-3) to Cody Gaskell (East Surry).