Tuesday, February 14, 2012

SPORTS >> Beebe, NP among 5A leaders

Leader sportswriter

Beebe and North Pulaski finished strong in the class 1A-5A state wrestling finals Saturday at the Jack Stephens Center on the UALR campus. The returning state champion Beebe Badgers were unable to repeat, but finished third overall with 260.0 points, 37.0 points behind winner Little Rock Christian.

North Pulaski finished sixth overall with 115.5 points, 37.5 points behind fifth place Gentry. The Falcons had four wrestlers in different weight classes, two made it all the way to the finals, one was crowned champion.

Nathan Sheward of North Pulaski pinned Beebe’s Al Sharp 1:28 into the final bout to claim the 126-pound championship. Both wrestlers are seniors and Sheward finished his season with a 20-5 record. Sharp finished with a respective 13-6 record for the year, and a runner-up medal.

Beebe had 11 wrestlers in different weight classes, two of which were crowned state champions. In the 160-pound final, Beebe’s Pearson Sloan capped off a great season by pinning Jack Wren of Little Rock Christian in 3:19. Sloan, a junior, finished the season with a 21-4 record.

Bradley Gann was the other state champion from Beebe, who won an 11-6 decision over David Miller of Des Arc to claim the 195-pound title. Gann, a senior, finished the season with a 20-1 record.

“We did a good job tonight. We had a bunch of young guys that really stepped up and did what we asked them to,” said Beebe coach David Payne about the overall performance of his group. “I have five wrestlers that have never wrestled before, and eight wrestlers that have never been in a state tournament.

“We have a really young team, and they hung in there with the teams that are really seasoned. I’m proud of them, proud of their effort, proud of their heart, proud of the way they worked.”

Four different Badgers finished third in their respective weight classes. Senior Ron Pacheco (21-5) pinned Eric Hern (10-9) of Little Rock Christian in 1:47 in the 152-pound division. Junior Jared Preseley (20-7) pinned Ben Thompson (11-8) of LRC in 1:52 in the 170-pound division.

In the 182-pound weight class, sophomore Alex Madesclaire (22-7) won a 16-8 decision over Jacob Priester of Maumelle, whose team finished second overall. At 220-pounds, sophomore Daniel Gann (8-2) took third due to injuries his opponent sustained earlier in the day.

Aaron Nunez of Beebe took fourth after losing a close 17-15 decision to Will Griffin of Episcopal Collegiate at 138-pounds. Micah Dubose pinned Dakota Caskey in 1:45 to take fifth at 106-pounds. Mathew Bain (113-pounds) and Jerry Mitchell (285-pounds) both took sixth place after losing by pinfall.

For North Pulaski, Nick Dunn took second place in the 145-pound division after losing an 8-0 decision to undefeated Nicholas Kurfess (13-0) of LRC. Nick Vandale pinned Berryville’s Kevin Maldonado in 3:11 to take third in the 113-pound division. Brien Davis finished sixth after being pinned by Mountain View’s Clay Gower 4:38 into the 152-pound bout.