The Heritage High School wrestling team recently made their annual late summer trip for team camp, this time in Boone, N.C., and enjoyed what head coach Mike Craft called "a very successful camp" at Appalachian State University.
Heritage went 6-0 in dual matches to earn the camp championship title for Division 2, winning several close matches, including a two-point win over a school from North Carolina in the finals. They would drop two matches in the crossover rounds to teams from Division 1, including the division winners.
Teams from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio participated in the camp.
It marked the first time the Generals have earned a summer camp championship. Heritage finished second in Division 2 at Virginia Tech in 2018 and third in Division 1 back at Appalachian State in 2016.
"We did not have any issues," Craft said. "All the boys were well-behaved and (we) only had one or two minor injuries. We had six technique sessions where the guys learned some good moves and reviewed some moves we already teach."
In the individual single-elimination tournament, junior Tate Thomas earned a championship at 106 pounds. He also wrestled at 113 in some duals matches and finished the camp with an overall record of 11-0. Two more juniors, Victor Johnson (132) and Cayman Hughey (152), both finished as runner-up. Johnson, who also wrestled at 138 in dual meets, finished 10-3 for the week, while Hughey went 9-2 wrestling at 145 and 152.
In addition, Thomas was selected for the Division 2 Gatorade “G Award” for his outstanding performance at camp, while Johnson and Hughey also received Gatorade gifts for their efforts.
Sophomore Skylar Grant (170) lost a tough match to the eventual champion in the semifinals, but battled back to place third and end the week at 8-3. Freshman Caden Simpson took fourth place at 113 and went 7-5 at the camp.
Dagon Posten (126), Conner Pennington (126), and (132) Landon Albright all had wins in the tournament, but did not place. Albright went 7-3 on the week, while Pennington went 5-5 and Posten finished 3-7.
Also wrestling for the Generals at the camp were Andy Garcia (6-3 at 106), Enrique Rodriguez (4-5 at 120), Ricardo Rodriguez (5-4 at 126), Logan Beasley (2-7 at 145 and 152) and Conner McGinnis (1-8, 182), a new wrestler to the Heritage program.
"Hopefully, the success the wrestlers had at camp will motivate them to continue to prepare for the upcoming season," Craft added.