by Chris Hunt
SouthLake Christian Academy senior Sam Remick became the Eagles’ first state champion in wrestling. Remick earned the honor after winning the 162-pound division of N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 2A tournament in Cary on Feb. 19.
Remick defeated Northside Christian’s Joe Hamel, High Point Wesleyan Christian’s Cody Sekaly and Asheville School’s Phillip Stone to take the title. Remick needed a two-point maneuver with less than five seconds left in the match to beat Sekaly, 4-3. Remick finished third at states three times in his career.
“Here’s how I look at Sam’s championship,” said SouthLake coach John Nerness. “Sam was with the initial team four years ago that had some pretty good wrestlers who were close to a state title but could not pull it off. Sam vindicated all those wrestlers’ hard work and set the standard for the younger wrestlers in our program. It was about Sam, but it wasn’t all about Sam.”
SouthLake junior Cody Tucker was second at 121 pounds. He fell to Wesleyan Christian’s Wes Sutton in the finals.
“After the finals, Cody told me he starts training for the 2011-12 season next week,” said Nerness. “That’s the heart of a champion right there.”
As a team, SouthLake finished seventh. Wesleyan Christian won the team title, followed by Providence Day, Forsyth Country Day, Charlotte Latin, Christ School and Charlotte Christian. The Eagles’ Patrick Robertson (127 pounds), eighth-grader Hamilton Hewitt (132) and Nick Miller (heavyweight) came in fourth in their respective divisions.
On Feb. 12, Hewitt prevailed five times to win the 130-pound division of the USA Wrestling middle-school tournament. The event held at Wake Forest University pitted the top middle-school wrestlers in North Carolina. SouthLake seventh-grader Zac Dudan finished second in the 112-pound division of the same event.