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Preview: Cumberland County high school wrestling

Here’s a preview of Cumberland County high school wrestling. Multiple emails were sent to both county high school wrestling coaches and their athletic directors. Any schools not included in the preview declined to respond to our request for information.

Jack Britt

Coach: Casey Malloy

Top returners: Torri Shepard, Isabella Hernandez, Sophia Ozanich, Sumaiya Aamoud, Brooklyn Wilson, Shane Jean Luis; Brycen Blaine, Reilly Conway, Caden Blackburn, Alex Pickel

Promising upcoming: Brieon Mayfield, Matt Romero; Gracie Bays, Katie Lock, Rebecca Griffin. 

Coach’s comment: “It’s a young team but I have hopes for this year. We have a promising future ahead of us.”

Cape Fear

Coach: Heath Wilson

Top returners: Samuel Aponte, two-time state champion; Landon Sargent, two-time state runner-up.

Promising newcomers: Tye Johnson, Mac Johnson, Wesley Taylor

Coach’s comment: "We look like we will be deeper than last year and there is a different air in the room than in years past. I smell something cooking.”

Pine Forest

Coach: Chris Green 

Top returners: Samuel Gantt, Jayvion Johnson, Jiuwan Flemming 

Promising newcomers: Christian Nelson, Jack Kancler.

Coach’s comment: “The Trojans were the All American Conference Champions in 2022-23 with five state qualifiers, three of which will be returning for the upcoming season. With some new young talent coming in to our wrestling room, we anticipate a good showing in the conference and the state again this season.’’  

Terry Sanford

Coach: Patrick wells

Top returners: Giovanni Sgro, Stephen Hubbard, Amelia Pranka, Troy Shannon.

Promising newcomers: Martin Cardenas, Shayla Fredella, Tristan Jacobs, Daniel Shirley

Coach’s comment: “After losing three top wrestlers from the lineup from last season, our juniors have stepped up and wrestled all summer and filled those shoes along with some tough first-year wrestlers, especially once we get our football players back on the mat. We are looking to battle it out for a conference championship.’’ 

E.E. Smith

Coach: Brandon Wallace

Top returners: Lianna Davis.

Promising newcomers: Melvin McDougle.

Coach’s comment: “E.E. Smith has a very young team with the majority of the roster being underclassmen. However we’re excited building on last year’s small roster we have more than doubled in size for this year’s team. We have a motivated young team led by our talented returning woman’s regional champion and senior Lianna Davis along with Captain Frantz-Kery Louis.” 

South View

Coach: Cam Spence

Top returners: Brian Dopp, Shamari Thompson, Alek Long, Bobby Soles, Joseph Hunt.

Promising newcomers: Dante Tyler, Wayne Claiborne, Kai Pineda, Devin Williams, Leland Burton, Dallas Domagala, Justin Pacurari.

Coach’s comment: “We have a good group of kids who have been putting in the work to learn the sport and get better. We have a decent amount of experience returning with some underclassmen who have potential. How our season goes will hinge on if our team is ready to do what it takes to be great.’’


Coach: Bennie Tillman III

Top returners: Jjais Roumo, Cory Cooper, Connor Dean, Chevelle Cade, and Cameron Hunt

Promising newcomers: Micahel Callison, Taniah Bruce, and Zakira McKoy

Overall outlook: Westover’s season is promising this year with a 52-man roster to include a full girl’s wrestling team. After last year’s season with the girls’ team, there is business left to finish and the hope of a state-champion female wrestler. Jjais Roumo finished top four in the state last year and is nationally ranked.’’

Follow Earl Vaughan Jr. on X, formerly known as Twitter: @EarlVaughanJr.

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Cumberland county, high school, wrestling, Jack Britt, Terry Sanford, Cape Fear, Pine Forest, E.E. Smith, Southview, Westover