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North cruises to fourth straight county title
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North Forsyth wrestlers made quick work of county opponents at the Forsyth County Duals on Saturday. - photo by Lee Tenety

North Forsyth’s history in the Forsyth County Duals was already unparalleled, but within the Raiders’ dominance of the county event is another layer to be reached for each successive group of seniors – just how dominant were you?

After an impressive 4-0 performance Saturday at West Forsyth High School, this Raiders’ senior group gave a resounding answer, winning its fourth straight county title, and 10th in 14 seasons, to remain undefeated in the county event.

"I know we’ve won it quite a bit, but it’s been a while since we’ve been able to win four in a row," North coach Travis Jarrard said. "It’s a good achievement, a good accomplishment.

"We’ve had some real good wrestlers pass through here who haven’t been able to do that. This group worked hard and stayed together. They kind of were a group that gelled to the North family."

North lived up to its dominant pedigree. The Raiders won each match by at least 28 points and gave up just six pins in wins against West (56-21), South (62-9), Lambert (46-18) and Forsyth Central (69-6).

North started its first match against West with six consecutive wins by Luke Slaton (132 pounds), Bradley Thomas (138), Ara Johnson (145), Shane Cross (152), Tanner Buggs (160) and Jordan Cross (170) to take a 34-0 lead.

West junior Austin Sanders ended the run with a 6-2 decision over Keigan Radake at 182, but North didn’t waver. Austin Thornton (195), Steven Anthony (220), Zachary Smith (285) and Chase Tenety (106) won the next four weight classes, three by pin, and the Raiders cruised to a 56-21 win.

Even against Lambert, who Jarrard had said was the toughest match-up for North, the Raiders won with relative ease. The Longhorns won four of six weight classes at one stretch, getting wins from Logan Wood (220), Eric Diemert (106), Matthew Sheetz (113) and Andrew Morin (126) and cutting North’s lead to 33-18.

No matter. Slaton pinned Lambert’s Ryan Chambers, Johnson won a 12-0 major decision over Adam Diemert and Shane Cross got a 4-2 decision over Eric Kohlins to give North a 46-18 victory.

"The kids wrestled well," Jarrard said.

And yet, Jarrard also found plenty of room to grow for the Raiders. Like how West’s Sam Thomas (113), Denver Stonecheck (120) and Jacob Miller (126) closed out that opening-round match with three straight pins. Or how seven of North’s 12 losses came by pin.

"That’s definitely something we have to work on," Jarrard said.

But North again asserted its claim on the county title. The Raiders’ four straight wins are the most since North won five straight from the 2000-01 to 2004-05 seasons. Central won three straight county titles from 2005-06 to 2007-08, and West won a county title in 2009-10.

"Our county’s pretty good at wrestling," Jarrard said. "If you look at the teams and how they fared the past four years, we’ve had some success from our county. To go undefeated, basically go 16-0, that’s a pretty big deal."