West wrestler shocks WRAL field
George Nathaniel of West Johnston was the overwhelming choice as the most outstanding wrestler Dec. 27-28 in the 42nd annual WRAL Invitational at Athens Drive High.
Nathaniel did not qualify for the N.C. High School Athletic Association championships last year, but roared through an outstanding field to win the 160-pound weight class in the invitational.
“Nathaniel isn’t ranked in the state, but he was just tremendous,” said West Johnston coach David Prendergrast. “He has kept improving and improving through the years.”
Nathaniel, who is 24-2 this year, defeated Garrett Hlavacek of Fayettville Cape Fear in the finals, 7-5. Hlavacek was fifth in the state finals last year.
Earlier, Nathaniel had beaten Niko Cappello, a high school all-America pick from Cranford, N.J., and Eddie McGrail of Lake Norman, who was third in last year’s NCHSAA championships.
“George is not afraid of wrestling anyone,” Prendergrast said. “He was simply outstanding.”
Undefeated Sam Campbell of West Johnston won the 220-pound title by taking a 13-7 win over Brian Tiderman of Charlotte Independence.
“Tiderman is the all-time leader in wrestling wins in Mecklenburg County,” Prendergrast said. “Sam’s win was very impressive. Sam was tremendous, but everyone expected him to be. He is ranked among the top two in his class in the state. George surprised a lot of people.”
The wins by Campbell and Nathaniel helped West Johnston finish seventh (124.5 points), the highest among area teams. Alexander Central won the team title with 184.0 points.
Princeton dominates Hobbton
Princeton’s boys and girls basketball teams shined on defense and swept Hobbton in Carolina 1A Conference games Friday. The girls took a 60-12 win. Charley Cox, Jackie Farrior, Kortney Edwards and Jordan Benson had eight points each for Princeton in the win. The Princeton boys won, 73-34. Michael Wooten had a game-high 26 points for the Bulldogs.
Corinth spring youth sports registration opens
Corinth Community Recreation is now holding registration for spring baseball, T-ball and softball for ages 4-14. Register online at ccrpirates.com or in person at Corinth-Holders Elementary School (3976 Highway 231, Zebulon) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Saturday through Feb. 1. Leagues are filled on a first come, first served basis and if teams are filled children are put on a wait list. The cost is $60 for baseball and softball and $40 for T-ball.