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Takedown and Win

Northeastern takes third at River City Invitational wrestling tournament

Eagles had two wrestlers win weight class

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Northeastern's Jonathan Ward (top) during the 138-pound championship match against Nansemond River (Va.) at the River City Invitational wrestling tournament at Northeastern High School, Saturday, January 12, 2019.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Monday, January 14, 2019

Northeastern hosted the River City Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at Northeastern High School’s gym.

The Eagles had six wrestlers compete in either championship or third-place matches to help NHS secure third place overall in the 18-team field.

Nansemond River (Va.) won the team competition with 227 points, Lake Taylor (Va.) was second with 129 points, Northeastern posted 128.5 points, Kempsville (Va.) was fourth with 110.5 points and Roanoke Rapids was fifth with 108 points.

Among regional schools, Currituck was ninth overall with 66 points, John A. Holmes was 11th with 54 points, Pasquotank was 15th with 33 points, Manteo was 16th with 26 points and Hertford County was 17th with 22 points.

A total of 166 wrestlers saw action at the invitational.

Despite some logistical issues that prevented the scheduled 9 a.m. start, Northeastern coach Larenzo King was pleased with another successful invitational.

“It was great. It’s getting better every year,” King said. “We still have a couple of kinks that pushes us behind time for some reason, but we’re working through it. Hopefully next year, we can get past that part and get started at nine o’clock.”

The 18-team field was the largest the invitational has had in its history.

Eleven schools from Virginia, mostly from Hampton Roads, took part in the invitational.

King said that he added additional teams to help fill out weight classes for the tournament.

“It worked out great,” he said. “Competition was great. The Virginia teams were great.”

It was a good competition for NHS as the Eagles had Jonathan Ward (138 pounds), Raven Atkins (220 pounds), Amir Payton-Kimble (285 pounds) and Tristen Barr (182 pounds) advanced to the championship match in their respective weight class.

“We’re getting better,” King said of his team’s performance at the invitational.

Ward secured the 138 pound title with a win by pin against Nansemond River’s Axel Cardona.

A takedown late in the third period gave Atkins the decisive two points and a 3-1 decision against Nansemond River’s Zech Gray in the 220 final.

Atkins, who won three matches in the 220-pound tournament, was named one of the Most Outstanding Wrestlers of the tournament.

“He’s been pushing himself,” King said of Atkins. “At the beginning of the year, he was the only big man in the room, so he had to work with some of the lighter guys.”

King added that Atkins had been working on his own, pushing himself to try to get better during the season.

Payton-Kimble lost to Roanoke Rapids’ Antonio Lawrence by pin in the 285 championship, while Barr fell to Nansemond River’s Omar Mattox in the 182-pound championship for second place in the weight class.

King was pleased with his four wrestlers that advanced to first-place matches.

He noted the fact that Barr was able to defeat one of his tougher opponents during the season in Manteo’s Ryan McOwen with a 11-6 decision in the second round.

“This time he got over the hump and beat him,” King said. “I’m super proud of him.”

King noted that Payton-Kimble did not make podiums to receive medals last season.

Payton-Kimble appears to turn the corner this season as he has a 20-4 overall record.

The coach added that Ward and Atkins — both seniors — are leading the team this season.

“They are pushing the team and they are pushing themselves,” King said.

NHS earned third-place finishes by Scott Marazoff with his 16-2 major decision against Currituck’s Noah Walker and Isaiah Cartwright at 152 pounds.

Cartwright was awarded third place with Manteo’s William Pendelton because of Pendelton reaching the five-match daily limit.

That resulted in a double forfeit.

Currituck earned third-place finishes from Samuel Hodge at 113 pounds, Trent Walker at 160 pounds and fourth place results from Noah Walker at 126 pounds and Michael Culpepper at 145 pounds.

Hodge pinned Lake Taylor’s Maddox Crowe in his third-place match, while Trent Walker secured third place with a 5-1 decision over Kempsville’s Miles Picardo.

Edenton’s Jordan Huerta secured third place at 138 pounds with a pin of Chruchland’s Dominic Young.

Pasquotank earned a third-place finish from Kobe Keller at 182 pounds, who pinned Kempsville’s Ryan Myers.

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