Every day is different in the North Buncombe wrestling team’s mat room.
“You never know what to expect,” junior Taylor Rozynski said. “One day you might dominate the guy you’re working out against. And then, the next day he might turn around and beat you.”
That competitiveness on a day-in, day-out basis has stirred up something special for the Black Hawks, who are off to a 4-0 start in dual matches.
They had five individual weight class champions Saturday at Enka’s U.S. Air Force Jet Invitational — Rozynski (145 pounds), Peter Simonovich (182), Caleb Gwaltney (195), Mikhail Simonovich (220) and Seth Edwards (heavyweight).
“This team is like a family,” Rozynski said. “I think we’re going to have a great season. We know there are some tough teams out there, but we’re confident.”
Rozynski scored an 8-4 decision over Foard’s Brandon Johnson in his final match Saturday, while sophomore Peter Simonovich pinned Enka’s Brandon Dills in 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
“We’re working hard, and, when one of us wins a big match, it feeds everyone else,” Peter Simonovich said. “That’s what you saw today.”
Gwaltney is ranked ninth among NCHSAA 3-A wrestlers in his weight class. There are three Simonovich brothers on the North Buncombe team (Dimitri, Mikhail and Peter), and the family is originally from the country of Belarus.
North Buncombe’s next dual match is Tuesday at home against Madison.
Erwin’s Conan Wilson was named the most outstanding wrestler of Saturday’s eight-team tournament at Enka, which was won by Foard (246.5 points).
Another Warriors wrestler, Gabe Wilson, took home the award for scoring the most pins (three) in the least amount of time (7:30) at 113 pounds.
Mask matches Mitchell record
Mitchell senior Austin Mask tied a school record for single-game rebounds (20) in Friday’s 78-64 win over the Cherokee boys in Bakersville.
Mask was also 9-for-9 at the free throw line to finish with 17 points. Meanwhile, Sam McKinney had a career-high 25 points on the first day of the UNIMIN Harvest Hoops Invitational hosted by the Mountaineers.
Swain’s Smith passes 6,000 yards
Swain County senior Raymius Smith became just the second player in school history to pass for 6,000 career yards in Friday’s 49-14 win over visiting Starmount in the third round of the NCHSAA 1-AA football playoffs.
Smith now has 6,069 yards and 80 touchdowns in his career, which began at Cherokee. He and the Maroon Devils (12-2) travel to West Montgomery (13-1) for next week’s 1-AA Western Regional championship game.
Swain County’s school record for passing (7,098 yards) is held by former NFL player Heath Shuler.
“First, it is an honor to be able to accomplish 6,000 yards in a career,” Smith said.
“It would not have been possible for me to get to this point without great teammates and coaches or the love and support of my parents and family.”