The best way to explain this week’s PrepsNow area top 25 dual-team wrestling rankings for the 20-county coverage area might be to go one-by-one.
The top three are easily enough explained: they’re undefeated. Though we’re used to seeing Orange and Cary at the top, this is the highest Western Harnett has ever been ranked in a PrepsNow poll in any sport.
Rosewood is as close to undefeated as you can get, losing once on tiebreaking criteria. The Eagles are fourth.
Fike has a slew of quality wins and has just one area loss: to Rosewood. The Golden Demons are fifth.
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Leesville Road has just one area loss: to Western Harnett. The Pride is sixth.
Leesville is the only area team to beat Wake Forest: the Cougars are seventh.
8th: Corinth Holders has area losses to Leesville Road and Rosewood.
9th: Green Hope has been red-hot lately and moves up despite early-season losses to Ravenscroft and Apex Friendship.
10th: Pinecrest has two area losses – Fike and Union Pines – but also the best area win to date over Roswood.
11th: Ravenscroft hasn’t wrestled as many teams as some, but the Ravens have yet to be blown out and own wins over Cardinal Gibbons and Green Hope.
12th: Same thing as Ravenscroft, except Cardinal Gibbons lost to Ravenscroft (and Leesville Road).
13th: Same thing as Cardinal Gibbons, except Northern lost to Green Hope (and Athens Drive).
14th: Millbrook’s on a winning streak and three of its four losses are to top-10 teams (Leesville, Rosewood, Wake Forest). There’s an early-season loss to Heritage as well.
15th: Cleveland lost to Green Hope and slides down some, but the Rams have done well with a tough schedule and even have a win over Ravenscroft.
16-18th: Middle Creek and Apex Friendship have each beaten Holly Springs in South Wake Athletic Conference nailbiters. Until Middle Creek and Apex Friendship face off, this is the order we’re going with.
19-20th: North Pitt and Southern Nash split head-to-head duals with North Pitt winning the latest one. Neither has a “bad loss.”
21-23rd: Union Pines has a loss to Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill has blowout losses to Green Hope and Cleveland and Athens Drive has losses to Heritage and D.H. Conley. Yet Union Pines also has a win over Pinecrest, Chapel Hill beat Carrboro and Union Pines, and Athens Drive owns a win over Northern Durham.
24th: Person is in a tough conference but didn’t get throttled by Morehead. That alone might be worth this spot, or higher. A win over Carrboro helps too.
25th: Clayton is the newcomer, replacing Heritage after the Huskies lost to Broughton. The Comets have no bad losses and it’ll be interesting to see what they do against Cleveland.
Also considered: Heritage (24-16); Brougthon (12-10); Franklinton (19-6); Carrboro (10-6).
PrepsNow Wrestling Top 25 Rankings
3. Western Harnett
6. Leesville Road
7. Wake Forest
8. Corinth Holders
9. Green Hope
12. Cardinal Gibbons
13. Northern Durham
16. Middle Creek
17. Apex Friendship
18. Holly Springs
19. North Pitt
20. Southern Nash
21. Union Pines
22. Athens Drive
23. Chapel Hill
Falling out: Heritage (15).
Eligible counties: Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Person, Pitt, Vance, Wake, Warren, Wayne and Wilson.