The ranking of all the wrestlers at 220 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. State Medalist (3rd in 3A) Ryan Ashley of Southern Nash is the top ranked wrestler in eastern North Carolina at 220. Just behind him is Medalist (3rd at 2A) Meshack Smith of Northside H.S. In 3rd is Nathan Gilbert of West Brunswick who was undefeated going into the state tournament where he placed 5th. Anthony Brownridge of Holmes and Rayquon Jones of Rosewood are plaque winners in the TDR Top 12.
|1||Ashley, Ryan||Southern Nash||220||3A||12||42||5||0.894||2||3rd|
|2||Smith, Meshack||Northside (Jacksonville)||220||2A||11||32||6||0.842||3||3rd|
|3||Gilbert, Nathan||West Brunswick||220||3A||11||32||2||0.941||1||5th|
|8||Rose, Jonathan||West Johnston||220||4A||12||14||4||0.778||3||L2|
|9||Dale, Andrew||West Carteret||220||3A||11||40||9||0.816||4||L2|
|10||Lee, Bruce||White Oak||220||3A||11||22||8||0.733||3||L2|
|11||Laureigh, Patrick||New Bern||220||4A||11||22||10||0.688||3||w1|
|12||Willis, William `Alex`||Laney||220||4A||10||34||16||0.680||4||w2|
The top 4 wrestlers ranked at the 195 lbs. weight class claimed TDR Top 12 plaques as being one of the best 42 wrestlers. With 14 weight classes that averages to 3 per weight yet the best 42 overall are selected. State Runner-Up Isaiah Bookman of Beddingfield is the top ranked wrestler in eastern North Carolina at 195. Senior Medalists Evin Bellamy of North Brunswick and Thomas Thompson of Lumberton join him as a plaque winner in the TDR Top 12. Hunter McClelland of Knightdale is also included at this high level of recognition.
The ranking of all the wrestlers at 195 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. State Runner-Up Isaiah Bookman of Beddingfield is the top ranked wrestler in eastern North Carolina at 195. Senior Place winners Evin Bellamy of North Brunswick and Thomas Thompson of Lumberton are plaque winners in the TDR Top 12. Hunter McClelland of Knightdale is also included at this high level of recognition.
|2||Bellamy, Evin||North Brunswick||195||2A||12||40||2||0.952||1||4th|
|5||Brogden, Austin||South Granville||195||2A||12||44||5||0.898||1||6th|
|7||Helmick, Jonathan||West Carteret||195||3A||12||40||6||0.870||2||L2|
|8||Barbosa, Sam||Northside (Jacksonville)||195||2A||11||32||10||0.762||3||w2|
|9||Mcrainey, Daniel||West Brunswick||195||3A||12||31||9||0.775||3||w1|
|10||Martinez, Carlos||First Flight||195||2A||10||44||9||0.830||4||L2|
|11||Randolph, Justin||South Central||195||4A||11||32||10||0.762||3||L2|
|13||Smith, Andre||Eastern Wayne||195||3A||12||18||6||0.750||4||L2|
The top 3 wrestlers ranked at this weight class claimed TDR Top 12 plaques as being one of the best 42 wrestlers. With 14 weight classes that averages to 3 per weight yet the best 42 overall are selected.
State Champion Andrew Colborn is the top ranked wrestler in eastern North Carolina at 182. Senior State Runner-Up Juan Ramos of Swansboro and Bradley Skinner of Knightdale are also were awarded a plaque for being in the TDR Top 12.
The ranking of all the wrestlers at 182 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. State Champion Andrew Colborn is the top ranked wrestler in eastern North Carolina at 182. Senior State Runner-Up Juan Ramos of Swansboro and Bradley Skinner of Knightdale are also plaque winners in the TDR Top 12.
|5||Fullerton, Sterling||West Brunswick||182||3A||11||35||3||0.921||2||w1|
|6||Watson, Tyrone||North Brunswick||182||2A||10||38||7||0.844||2||w1|
|7||Sutton, Shawn||North Lenoir||182||2A||11||34||9||0.791||3||w1|
|9||Willard, Alston||East Wake||182||4A||12||33||9||0.786||4||L2|
|11||Johnson, Kenard||Rocky Mount||182||3A||12||35||12||0.745||4||L2|
|12||Warren-Brock, Akim||South Central||182||4A||12||30||11||0.732||3||L2|
|13||Huion, Chris||North Pitt||182||2A||12||31||13||0.705||4||L2|
The top 6 wrestlers ranked at this weight class earned TDR Top 12 plaques as being one of the best 42 wrestlers. With 14 weight classes that averages to 3 per weight yet the best 42 overall are selected.
State Champion Lance Armenta of SW Onslow in the 2A State Championships is the top ranked wrestler in eastern N.C. The others on the Top 12 earned plaques for being in the best of the best are 3rd placers Kaleb Smith of Rosewood (1A) and Connor Hughes of First Flight (2A), medalists Dakota Wakefield of Swansboro and Brandon Skinner of Knightdale. Dalton Hill of New Bern is included for his strong season and as the only wrestler to defeat Armenta this season.
The ranking of all the wrestlers at 170 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. State Champion Lance Armenta of SW Onslow in the 2A State Championships is the top ranked wrestler in eastern N.C. The others on the Top 12 earned plaques for being in the best of the best are 3rd placers Kaleb Smith of Rosewood (1A) and Connor Hughes of First Flight (2A), medalists Dakota Wakefield of Swansboro and Brandon Skinner of Knightdale. Dalton Hill of New Bern is included for his strong season and he was the only wrestler to defeat Armenta this season.
|1||Armenta, Lance||Southwest Onslow||170||2A||12||47||2||0.959||1||1st|
|3||Hughes, Connor||First Flight||170||2A||11||47||8||0.855||2||3rd|
|4||Hill, Dalton||New Bern||170||4A||11||30||5||0.857||1||w1|
|9||Williams, Miles||Greene Central||170||2A||11||25||10||0.714||4||w1|
|10||Bunts, Tyler||South Granville||170||2A||11||39||9||0.813||1||L2|
|12||Turner, Luke||Corinth Holders||170||3A||12||34||9||0.791||4||L2|
|13||Keyes, Marquez||JH Rose||170||4A||11||38||15||0.717||4||L2|
|13||Sheppard, Sedrak||Rocky Mount||170||3A||11||37||17||0.685||3||L2|
State Champion Joe Mondragon of Ashley High School was presented the 14th Annual James Johnson Award as the best scholastic wrestler in eastern North Carolina in 2015 at the Senior Sports Banquet. The award is named in honor of three time national champion James Johnson. TakeDown Report Representative Neal Dorow presented the award to Joe.
Joe was the state champion at 132 lbs. in his senior year with 45 victories and just two losses. He won 37 matches in a row after an early season loss in the finals of the Dixon Bulldog tourney until the Regional finals. While winning the Mid-eastern conference tournament Joe suffered a severe ankle sprain which hindered his movement in the Regional tournament the next weekend. He lost his second match of the season in the finals 6-1 but bounced back the next weekend in Greensboro with 4 wins including a 4-3 decision in the finals to become Ashley’s first State Champion in wrestling.
Joe’s father Joe Sr. was a two-time state champion in Nevada thus he had Joe Jr. and younger son Terrell were on the mat at an early age. Joe fell in love with the sport when in grade school. His passion guided him to four consecutive state age-group titles from 5th to 8th grades. In 2011 he became an All-American in Greco-Roman style as he placed 7th in the USA Wrestling Cadet National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. As a freshmen Joe made it to the Utah state championships and finished with a (55-9). The next year he compiled a (29-2) record before his season was ended by an injury. It was the only season in which Joe did not qualify for the state tournament.
The Mondragon family moved to North Carolina in 2013 before Joe’s Junior year. As the father explained “we wanted to move near the ocean. The sand here comes with water and we wanted that change.” he beamed. In his first season in North Carolina Joe was undefeated until the conference tournament. This was in spite of missing a month of action due to a severe infection from an insect bite. He resumed practice a few days before the conference tournament. His first loss of the season was in the finals to a previously beaten opponent. His second loss was in the Regional finals. He earned a 5th place medal at the state tournament and finished with a (23-4) record.
Joe’s future plans are undecided yet he is looking to focus on an apprenticeship in a family business back in Utah. After this season stopped wrestling but “…the wrestling itch is coming back and he is considering eventually wrestling again at a junior college or even a four year college out west.” His father shared.
Previous award winners were De’Andre Jones (2014) of New Bern, Alex Bray (2013) of Croatan, Jon Wiley (2012) of South Brunswick, Marquin Hill (2011) of Washington H.S., Branden Lietz (2010) of J.H. Rose, Mamour Camara (2009) of Louisburg, Anthony Rogers (2008) of Knightdale, Ngu Tran (2007) of C.B. Aycock, Victor Hojillo (2006) of West Carteret, Raymond Jordan (2004) of New Bern, Shaun Sheffield (2003) of Havelock, David Pelsang (2005), and Paris Dottery (2002) of White Oak.
The TakeDown Report promotes amateur wrestling in eastern North Carolina and sponsors the Award. “The award is to recognize the most successful wrestler in the area each year.” Fleming noted, “It encourages the young men from the teams in the eastern part of the state with an opportunity to realize the hard work, determination and discipline it takes to be a top notch wrestler,” he added. The TakeDown Report is in its’ 18th year of operations in North Carolina encouraging media coverage of the sport. Contact the TDR at email@example.com.
James Johnson started wrestling in his junior year for D.H. Conley High School in Greenville with Milt Sherman as his coach. James was Coney’s 1st state champion in any sport in 1976. He was North Carolina’s 1st Eastern Junior National Champion in 1975 and North Carolina’s 1st Junior Nationals All-American with 3rd in 1976. He went on to start four years at the University of Kentucky. He is now a sports consultant and coach for the Phoenix-based Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club. He also specializes in developing unique training for people of all fitness levels with a broad background in public speaking, sports training techniques, and health and fitness. He was inducted as an “Outstanding American” in the North Carolina State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2012 he was a coach for the U.S.A. Olympic Greco-Roman team in London.
Before developing James Johnson, Inc., James served as a Public Relations/ Community Speaker for Sunkist worldwide. He was on the USA National Wrestling team for 12 years, winning 3 National Championships, USA Athlete of the Year, AIM Christian Athlete of the Year, Olympic Team Alternate, and numerous accolades worldwide. He has been an Ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee, USA wrestling and The Sunkist Kids Wrestling organization for over 16 years. More at http://jjchamp3x.com/.
The ranking of all the wrestlers at 160 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. State Champion Angel Najar of North Pitt in the 2A State Championships and is the top ranked wrestler in eastern N.C.
|1||Najar, Angel||North Pitt||160||2A||12||59||1||0.983||1||1st|
|3||Smith, Cameron||Corinth Holders||160||3A||10||24||5||0.828||1||w2|
|4||Higgs, Austin||South Granville||160||2A||11||31||8||0.795||1||L2|
|5||Vaccaro, Dakota||West Carteret||160||3A||11||33||13||0.717||2||w1|
|7||Henderson, Alexander||Rocky Mount||160||3A||11||37||12||0.755||4||w1|
|8||Nelson, Michael||West Brunswick||160||3A||11||29||10||0.744||3||L2|
|9||Carlock, Johnathan||Southern Vance||160||2A||12||23||10||0.697||4||w1|
|10||Decker, Jared||First Flight||160||2A||12||24||12||0.667||3||L2|
The ranking of all the wrestlers at 152 lbs. in the TDR Top 12. P.J. Connors of Currituck County placed 5th in the 2A State Championships and is the top ranked wrestler in eastern N.C.
|3||McCann, John||Northside (Jacksonville)||152||2A||12||33||7||0.825||4||6th|
|5||Walker, Anthony||North Brunswick||152||2A||12||40||8||0.833||3||w1|
|6||Studebaker, Beau||East Carteret||152||1A||9||41||9||0.820||3||w1|
|7||Edwards, Travonye||Farmville Central||152||2A||12||34||7||0.829||2||L2|
|8||Wallace, Josh||CB Aycock||152||3A||10||42||8||0.840||4||L2|