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GREENSBORO — A pair of seniors from Corinth Holders High School placed in the state 4-A individual wrestling tournament Saturday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Jeffrey Palmer battled his way to a fifth-place showing in the 220-pound weight class, while classmate Cooper Carlson maneuvered his way onto the podium with a fifth-place finish at 195.
The showings from the two Pirate seniors powered Corinth Holders to 22nd place in the team scores. Corinth Holders has placed at least one wrestler in the individual state championships since 2012.
Palmer and Carlson represent the 10th and 11th wrestlers in school history to place on the podium. They were the lone wrestlers from Johnston County to place at the event.
Carlson earned his way onto the medal stand after reaching the quarterfinals of his weight class, where he lost a 3-2 decision to Wake Forest High School’s Ronnel Wilson, who went on to finish second in the state. Carlson then recovered to pin Cornelius Hough High School grappler Julian Rawlins by fall in the fifth-place match. Carlson finished the season with a 28-12 record.
Palmer, who entered the state tournament as the 4-A East Region champion, won his initial match against Scotland County’s Michael Locklear by major decision but fell in his second bout. Rylan Vann of Cary High School advanced by a 5-3 decision in that round. From there, though, Palmer won out to capture fifth place. He finished his senior campaign with a 34-6 record.
While Palmer and Carlson were the only two wrestlers from Johnston County to place, plenty of others competed.
Also representing the Pirates were Logan Haseley in the 132-pound bracket, Javari Wright in heavyweight and Brandon Hepper at 126. Haseley and Hepper lost consecutive bouts, while Wright advanced out of the first round by a 7-6 decision but then lost in back-to-back matches.
North Johnston sent 152-pound senior wrestler Justin Richardson and heavyweight Alton Pratt to the 2-A championships.
Richardson lost his initial bout, advanced in the loser’s bracket the next time on the mat and then lost 16-1 to Easton Shelley of Thomasville Ledford High School to finish out his high school career. Earlier this season, Richardson became the first Panther wrestler since 2013 to eclipse 100-career victories.
Pratt lost two-consecutive bouts.
Matthew Pelletier and Elliot Sullivan represented Neuse Charter in the 152- and 138-pound ranks, respectively. Both bowed out quickly with back-to-back losses.
Jeremiah Mattocks was the lone wrestler from Clayton to earn a spot in the tournament, where he did not advance after two-straight losses.
Matthew Picariello competed for West Johnston in the 3-A 113-pound bracket. Picariello fell by pin to his first-round opponent, but he recovered to advance by 6-5 decision. In his third match, Picariello lost a 1-0 decision to Southern Durham’s Shyheim Davis.