The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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NC State vs UNC Wrestling Takes Center Stage

Wolfpack Wrestling (Instagram)
The crowd cheers as #2 Ranked 197lbs Trent Hidlay exits the mat after a decisive 17-2 victory Friday night.

  The No.8 ranked N.C. State Wolfpack took on the North Carolina Tar Heels Friday night in Reynolds Coliseum. The 5,500-seat arena was sold out and rocking for the second consecutive time. The last time was January 5th in a Wolfpack loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State 22-12. 

  The always-heated rivalry between the cross-town foes led to an instant classic. Since N.C. State Head Coach Pat Popolizio took over, the Wolfpack have won the last ten duals. He has amassed a 10-2 record over the Tar Heels in his first 12 seasons as the leader of the Pack. He made it 11 Friday night. 

  In an interview back in November 2023, UNC head coach, Rob Koll, was asked if he could convert NC State fans into UNC fans to which he replied, “What they have done at NC State is they have taken wrestling fans and made them N.C. State fans, and they have made high school wrestling fans Wolfpack fans. I don’t think they [fans] have a strong loyalty/allegiance to N.C. State. They just have a strong loyalty to great wrestling.” This quote was plastered as propaganda throughout Wolfpack fans’ accounts across social media and added more fuel to the already intense fire of the dual. In the state of North Carolina, it is hard to find the middle ground between red and light blue.

  UNC started the night hot, winning two of the first three in thrilling overtime heroics. After the 174-pound bout, it was all Wolfpack. N.C. State tore through the rest of UNC’s lineup, winning the next seven. (results on the bottom of the article) 

  As for team captain and fan favorite, Trent Hidlay took a more personal approach to the matchup. Via his X (formerly known as Twitter) account, Hidlay responded to a comment saying, “If I get out of tonight’s dual without giving up a team point it would be a miracle.” Hidlay ranked No. 2 according to Flowrestling, made it out of the clash without deducting the team a point for being unsportsmanlike, but he didn’t disappoint with his performance. His high motor was on full display with a dominant 17-2 technical fall over the Tar Heels’ Matt Shaw. 

  That was far from the only action on the mat. 

  The 141-pound weight class featured a top-5 matchup between No.4 Ryan Jack (NCSU) and No.5 Lachlan McNeil (UNC). Before the matches, ACC Network Analyst, Rock Harrison, coined the 141 bout as “the match of the night.” The match ended with a little controversy as McNeil thought he sealed it in the waning seconds with a late takedown but upon review prompted by an N.C. State brick throw (challenge), it was deemed that no points were awarded and Ryan Jack maintained his 4-2 lead. McNeil then frantically chased Jack around the mat with six seconds left in the 3rd period but couldn’t take Jack down. 

  After the dual, I caught up with Jack as he shared his thoughts on the sold-out crowd.

  He stated, “The crowd is so loud here [Reynolds], sometimes you have to control yourself when the crowd is going crazy and tell yourself to settle down. Other than that, having this crowd behind is amazing and it’s fun.” 

  The Wolfpack will be back in Reynolds Coliseum for a head-to-head matchup against the Virginia Cavaliers. For the Tar Heels, they will look to bounce back at home against the Pitt Panthers.

Final 2024 Dual Results Team/Weight Class

#8 NC State 33, UNC 6

125 | Jarrett Trombley (NCSU) dec. #26/29 Spencer Moore (UNC), 2-0

133 | Kai Orine (NCSU) tech fall Jace Palmer (UNC) 21-3 

141 | #4/4 Ryan Jack (NCSU) Dec. Lachlan McNeil (UNC), 4-2 

149 | Jackson Arrington (NCSU) major dec. Jayden Scott (UNC), 9-1

157 | Sonny Santiago (UNC) dec. #11/6 Ed Scott (NCSU) 12-5 SV

165 | #18/14 Derek Fields (NCSU) major dec. def. Isaias Estrada (UNC), 11-1 

174 | #23/29 Tyler Eischens (UNC) dec. #31/27 Alex Fasion (NCSU), 13-6 SV

184 | #13/10 Dylan Fishback (NCSU) major dec. #21/23 Gavin Kane (UNC), 15-3

197 | #2/4 Trent Hidlay (NCSU) tech fall #23/26 Max Shaw (UNC), 18-2 

HWT | Owen Trephan (NCSU) tech fall Adam Honis (UNC), 21-5


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About the Contributor
Vince Barefoot
Vince Barefoot, Sports Editor

What's up everyone, I'm Vince! I’m a senior and this is my 2nd year on the Newspaper Staff! This year I will be the sports editor and assistant video director! I play Varsity Football and call the JV football games. I’m also the Senior Class VP, Pickleball club president, a NHS member, and the Girls Lacrosse manager. Go Wildcats!

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