KERNERSVILL – Sophomore Sarri-Central Jeremiah Price could just as well be King Midas, because everything he touches turns to gold.
On June 26, Jeremiah won the NC High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 2A 145lb State Championship for the second time. After winning the state tournament held this year at Glenn High School, he becomes the first two-time state wrestling champion in the world. Surri Central Story.
Jeremiah joins North Surry’s Justin Jones (2007, 2008), Mount Airy’s Cameron Pack (2015, 2016) and Jacob Hogue (2015, 2016, 2017) as the only multiple state wrestling champions in Serry County history.
“I thought Jeremiah was extremely dominant in his fight in the tournament,” said Surry Central coach Stephen Priddy. “I don’t think he’ll say that, but after winning last year, I think he wanted to come back this year and not only win, but win convincingly. This is exactly what he did. “
The dominant performance in the tournament made Jeremiah an already impressive season. The sophomore won the Western Piedmont Regional Championships 2A (WPAC) and 2A Midwest without losing a single match. He was also named WPAC Wrestler of the Year as Surry Central won their third consecutive regular season conference and tournament titles.
Jeremiah entered the 2021 state championship with a 16-0 record and never took too much risk of losing a match. He beat younger Sam Wilson of Rutherfordton-Spindale (19-4) with an 18-1 technical fall in the first round, and came close to earning a technical fall in his quarterfinals against Cole Pritchard of Morehead (16-9) before to consolidate your opponent. second period.
One of the most anticipated matches of the entire tournament, 2A, took place in 145 semifinals. Jeremiah, now 18-0, faced 2A West Regional 145 champion Jamie Richard of Fred T. Foard High School.
Richard, Sr., finished 26-0 the season before meeting Jeremiah, although that quickly changed. The Golden Eagle beat Richard with a technical fall 16: 0 and reached the final.
“We really didn’t know much about the Foard guy in the tournament, but we knew he hadn’t wrestled with a bunch of scrubs all year,” Priddy said. “This child was good, but at least that day Jeremiah was clearly better than all his competitors.”
The 2A 145 State Championship was a rematch of the 2A 145 Midwest Regional Championship in which Jeremiah faced Michael Lowry, Sr. in Salisbury. Lowry started the season 14-0 before losing a 13-0 major decision in the regional final.
Lowry won the first three matches of the state tournament to face Jeremiah again, but lost again. Jeremiah was leading with a score of 10: 0, and Lowry hit in the third period.
Jeremiah lost only three points to his rivals during the state tournament. All three were for the shoots that he allowed to bring the opponent down onto the carpet again.
Several Surry Central wrestlers came close to winning multiple state titles, but none made the deal: Sampson Oakley won the 1A / 2A 145 title in 1993, finishing second in the same class in 1992, Jed Martin second place in 1A / 2A. 171 tournaments in both 2007 and 2008, and Wes Brown won the 2A 220 title in 2012 but finished second at 285 the following year.
Jeremy also holds Surry Central and Surry County records for wins in a season, hitting 56-1 in a freshman year. The record was previously held by Logan Younger of North Surry, who walked 54-6 and finished second in the 2012 2A 182 event.
“He really devotes his life to fighting and school,” Priddy said. “His work ethic is simply unmatched. He’s never happy and I think that’s what makes him so good. He always finds what he could do better. Even after the state championship, he did it. “
For Jeremiah, wrestling is a year-round sport. Final preparations for the NCHSAA State Tournament began in April 2021 when Jeremiah won the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) National Championship.
“He trained really hard and worked hard for it,” Priddy said. “The last four matches have ended in extra time or during periods of surprise victory. God, these were battles.
“Right after that, he was ready to put in the same amount of effort to win the state championship. It was fun just to be part of his journey. “
Jeremiah has struggled forever and he hopes to continue competing after school. He has been in contact with numerous universities ACC, Big 12, Ivy League and others.
Teammates Jacob Price and Carson Krause joined Jeremiah in the state championship match.
Croes, a junior, qualified for his second state championship in 2021. Last season, he played in the 160 grid and finished one match without a medal.
Krause won the 170 WPAC Championship and finished fourth at the 2A Midwest Regional. He entered the state tournament with a 16-3 record.
Krause faced a daunting challenge in the form of Zane Birchett Foard in the first round. Birtchet, who won the silver medal in the 132 grid in 2020, entered the tournament with a 25-1 record and became the champion of the 170 West Region.
Krause was leading 4-3 with 10 seconds remaining in the third period. The pair were at the edge of the ring when Birchet was awarded two points for a failure when there was almost no time on the clock. Birtchet advanced 5: 4.
“I hated Carson because he fought so hard that day,” Priddy said. “He stopped all the shots that the guy was making during this period, but the guy just got him close to the edge. I was very proud of his efforts, especially considering that he has struggled with a knee injury in regional competitions. “
The 2021 State Championship took on a different format than the tournaments of the past. Wrestlers usually have to lose twice to be eliminated from the tournament. Tournament 2A also usually awards medals to the top six players, not just the top four. This year, only wrestlers who lost in the semifinals could participate in repechage matches.
“He could easily, in a normal year, come back and place. I have no doubt about it, ”Priddy said.
Birtchet finished third in the 170 grid.
Jacob Price was Central’s remaining rival. The freshman qualified for the state championship competition, finishing third in the 152 Midwest grid. Jacob also won the WPAC 152 title this season.
Jacob entered the state tournament with an 18-2 record. His first loss of the season came to state champion 1A 145 Riley Pruitt of Allegany due to injury default. They had a draw – 4-4 when Jacob could not continue the game.
His second defeat of the season was in the Midwest Regional Semifinals. After winning the first two Regional Championship matches, Jacob was defeated by West Stanley’s Aidan Hiatt.
Hiatt won the regional title with a 17-0 record and finished third in the state championship, finishing 21-1 in a year.
Jacob faced Ethan Binkley of Carrituck County in the first round and lost a fall in the second period.
“Jacob got into the state with a bad back,” Priddy said. “He went to the tournament and after that he had back problems. He found himself in a situation against Binkley where he needed to be able to use his back and his back would not allow him.
“I couldn’t be proud of him after losing just three matches in my freshman year and having spent the season we spent with COVID materials. He fought hard all season. He will return healthy next year and will likely fight for the state title. ”
All three Surry Central 2021 State Qualifiers will return for the 2021-22 season.
One of the Golden Eagles who had every chance of a podium in 2021 was Stephen Campbell.
As a junior, Campbell finished the year 51-5 and finished third in the 2A 182 bracket. He returned as a senior and won the WPAC 220 championship with a perfect 16-0 result.
With the wrestling season taking place much later in the year than usual, Campbell decided to abandon regional and state tournaments in order to enroll in the United States Marine Corps.