Bandys defends 2A championship
while Foard won last year’s 3A tournament
By CHRIS HOBBS
The state high school dual-team championship begins Saturday with eight area teams in the field, and that includes the start of defense of state titles in 2A by Bandys and 3A by Fred T. Foard.
The Catawba Valley 2A Athletic has four teams in the running – West No. 1 seed Newton-Conover plus No. 10 West Lincoln, No. 11 Bandys and No. 12 Lincolnton.
The Western Foothills 3A has West No. 1 seed Foard and No. 10 St. Stephens, and Ashe County gained a 3A spot from the Northwestern 3A-4A, seeded No. 8.
Watauga, seeded No. 8, won the 4A spot from the Northwestern 3A-4A.
Ashe County (3A): Winning the lone 3A spot from the Northwestern 3A-4A, the No. 8 Huskies are going to Catawba County to meet No. 9 Asheboro at Fred T. Foard.
Top-seeded Foard wrestles No. 16 West Charlotte, and the winners wrestle for a third-round bid.
Brandon Dillard and Danny Dillard share the head-coaching duties at Ashe County.
Bandys (2A): A year after dominating Bunn 60-18 with 10 pins in the state title match, the Trojans start their title defense as a No. 11 seed and face No 6 Mount Pleasant at Eden Morehead.
The other match is No. 14 Hendersonville-No. 3 Morehead, and the first-round winners meet.
Bandys, coached by Justin Adams, has won each time it advanced to a state dual-team final, last year and in 2005 and 2006.
Fred T. Foard (3A): The Tigers are back, seeking their fifth state dual-team championship and third in a row in 3A (they won in 2020, there was no tournament in 2021 due to COVID).
Foard will be at home Saturday at 1 p.m., facing No. 16 West Charlotte.
Also wrestling at Foard will be No. 9 Asheboro against No. 8 Ashe County, with the winners meeting in the second round.
Foard, coached by Mike Carey, has four 3A finals appearances – 2013, 2014, 2015 and last year.
Lincolnton (2A): The Wolves are in as a No. 12 seed, heading to Trinity to battle No. 5 North Wilkes.
No. 4 Trinity faces No. 13 West Wilkes to net another winner for the second-round match that follows.
Brent Gates coaches the Wolves.
Newton-Conover (2A): The Red Devils, in another run by head coach Eddy Clark, open the postseason at home at 3 p.m. on Saturday, facing No. 16 McMichael, with No. 9 West Stanly battling No. 8 East Davidson in the other first-rounder there.
The two winners meet for a spot in the third round.
Newton-Conover, 3-3 in dual-team state finals with the last in 2016, is chasing its seventh state finals appearance.
Clark has more than 850 career wins.
St. Stephens (3A): The 10th seeded Indians, coached by former multiple-sports star Billy Baker (West Lincoln), open the postseason against No. 7 Parkwood at Eastern Guilford.
No. 2 Eastern Guilford faces No. 15 Central Cabarrus with the two winners meeting for a bid in the third round.
Watauga (4A): Seeded No. 8, head coach Zach Strickland and his Pioneers get a trip to Northwest Guilford to battle ninth-seeded Charlotte Catholic.
No. 16 Olympic meets No. 1 Northwest Guilford, and the winners meet to see who gets to the third round.
West Lincoln (2A): The state playoffs start on the road for head coach Butch Ross’ Rebels, seeded No. 10 and facing No. 7 Black Mountain Owen at R-S Central.
No. 2 R-S Central meets No. 15 Southwestern Randolph in the other opener with the winners wrestling for a third-round bid.
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