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GNRC produces 23 all-conference wrestlers

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A season of bouts on the mat yielded 23 All-Greater Neuse River Conference wrestlers who earned their fair-share of victories this season.

West Johnston 132-pound wrestler Gavin McKendrick, who powered the Wildcats to a conference tournament championship, was named the Wrestler of the Year, while Cleveland head coach Kenny Watkins was named Coach of the Year after his Rams won the regular-season title. 

In spite of finishing second in the final conference standings, Clayton earned eight spots on the all-conference team — the most of any program. 

All-Conference team

All-conference selections were those who earned four or more regular-season conference wins. 

At 106, Ty Robbins of Clayton, Colin McClure of Cleveland and South Johnston’s Christian Jones met the high mark. West Johnston’s Matthew Picariello and Cleveland’s Tristian Hawkins were top wrestlers at 113, while Cleveland 120 wrestler Joseph Roeder, West Johnston 126 Chris McHenry also earned all-conference honors. 

West Johnston’s Richard Villafranco and Clayton’s Jeremiah Mattocks represented 138, as did Clayton’s Franklin Melton at 145, and Clayton’s Elijah Price and Cleveland’s Alex Toback at 152.

Smithfield-Selma 160-pound wrestler Michael Nichols earned the Spartans’ lone selection along with Clayton’s Timmy Robbins and Cleveland’s Aaron Erickson in the same weight class.

Matthew Ellison represented 170, while South Johnston’s Trequan Williams, Clayton’s Tynell Streeter and Cleveland’s Dakota Marquess were top wrestlers at 182. 

Cleveland’s Jonathan Knott was the lone grappler at 195, while East Wake’s Luke Kittrell and South Johnston’s Daniel Jones landed at the top in 220. West Johnston heavyweight Kenneth Dowdy stood alone at the top.

The conference also honored those who exercised the most sportsmanship from each program: Clayton’s Eli Price; Cleveland’s Jonathon Knott; East Wake’s Luke Kittrell; Smithfield-Selma’s Tyrell Lawrence; South Johnston’s Ulisses Villalon and West Johnston’s Tunstall Jefferson. 

As a team, South Johnston earned the sportsmanship award.