Moving on Up
Pasquotank wrestlers sign with colleges
Basnight to Ferrum; Stutz to UNCP
By Malcolm Shields
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Javiaughn Basnight and Darrien Stutz left their mark on the Pasquotank wrestling program.
With a pair of regional championships and an individual state crown between the two, both did the necessary work to prepare themselves for the college level while in high school.
On Friday afternoon, both announced their commitments to college wrestling programs during a signing ceremony at Pasquotank County High School.
Naturally, the teammates both revealed their choices in the same fashion.
First was Stutz, who selected North Carolina-Pembroke.
Stutz went with the Braves after having interest from North Carolina State, Appalachian State, Coker University, St. Andrews and Dakota Wesleyan.
After announcing his choice, Stutz — in Superman-like style — unbuttoned his dress shirt and displayed a UNC-Pembroke shirt to the crowd of fellow students, family members and coaches at the ceremony.
Then followed Basnight, who selected Ferrum College over Old Dominion and North Carolina-Pembroke.
In the same fashion, Basnight revealed a Ferrum College shirt.
Making the next step to the college level was important to both athletes.
“I’m stepping up to the next level,” Basnight said.
Basnight wrestled the past two seasons in a Pasquotank singlet.
Before then, Basnight wrestled at Northeastern.
Basnight noted the work ethic with his other teammates was important to his development at Pasquotank.
For Basnight, a visit to the campus sold the 132 pounder to select Ferrum and become a Panthers at the college level.
Basnight noted that he went through a practice session with the team during his visit.
“I fell in love with the wrestling room, the campus and academics,” he said. “It was great.”
Basnight noted that he could move between three weight classes while at Ferrum.
Ferrum is a NCAA Division III program in Virginia.
The two-year standout with the Panthers had a strong senior campaign.
Basnight had more than 30 wins during his senior season that also included a Northeastern Coastal Conference individual championship at 132 pounds.
He also won the NCHSAA Class 2A East Regional individual championship at 132 pounds and qualified to the state championship meet in Greensboro in February.
“It was great,” Basnight said of winning the regional. “That was one of the goals coming in this year.”
Stutz capped off his only season with the Panthers by winning a 2A state championship at 195 pounds.
He also added a 2A East Regional championship and a conference championship last winter.
“It was always a dream of mine to go to the next level and compete in some type of sport,” Stutz said. “It means a lot to me that I get to continue wrestling.”
Stutz acknowledged that the coaching staff and the atmosphere at Pembroke were some of the things that stood out about the NCAA Division II program.
Although he is appreciative of all he accomplished in one season with Pasquotank, Stutz knows that he can achieve more.
“The sky is the limit,” he said.
Pasquotank coach Jonathan Sutton noted during the ceremony the importance of the two wrestlers and added that both along with this season’s team have changed the culture.