By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain’s wrestling team finished second in the Mountain Seven Conference Tournament held Saturday at East Henderson.
Pisgah won the meet with 204 points to SM’s 146. West Henderson was third at 124.5, followed by East Henderson (112), Tuscola (97), North Henderson (94.5) and Franklin (48).
Freshman Kavan Wilson won the 132-pound weight class for the Mustangs.
SM wrestlers placing second were Davey McCoy (113), William McCoy (138), Colin Coggins (145), Evan Jamison (182), Sean Martinez (220) and Donnie Hebenstreit (heavyweight).
Alex Rodriguez was third at 160, and Warren Walker (152) and Antonio Lorenzo (195) finished fourth.
“I am very happy with the individual efforts,” said Coach Erik Wilson, who was named conference coach of the year. “This was a very competitive tournament, and my wrestlers rose to the challenge. We wrestled aggressively and with a lot of determination the entire day.”
He noted that last year’s team placed sixth in the league tournament.
“So to come back and place second is a significant accomplishment that each wrestler can be proud of,” the coach said.
The Mustangs (9-6, 3-3) finished tied for third in the MSC regular season standings after being last a year ago. That was another major improvement Coach Wilson said the team should be proud of.
Pisgah defeated the Mustangs 63-15 in the final MSC match Jan. 17 at the SM gym. William McCoy (138), Coggins (145) and Martinez (220) won their matches.
Pisgah also won the women’s contest 33-18. Veronica Mathis, Dagney Williams and Emma Burnes won for the Lady Mustangs.
The women’s regionals will be held tonight (Thursday) at North Henderson. That’s the same time the men will be home against Asheville.
The men’s regionals are set for Feb. 10-11 at Pisgah.