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FRANKLINTON - Franklinton's wrestling team competed in their final home match of the regular season with flying colors after a shutout win over Granville Central 66-0 and a 48-30 victory over rival Louisburg Thursday Jan. 23.
The first win of the night was against Granville Central. Every single wrestler won their match, with six of the wins coming from forfeits. Three of the wins were by pins and the remaining four were from decision.
In the second match against Louisburg, Franklinton won six of their matches by forfeit, but had two wrestlers win by pins. Franklinton's Aaron Godwin pinned Louisburg's Patrick Manning in the 285-pound bout and Nadim Qazizada pinned Abel Contreras in the 138-pound match.
Seniors Alain Perez and Qazizada won both of their matches. Perez defeated Granville Central's Landon Parrot in a 6-5 decision. Senior Jahmar Williams defeated Granville Central's Uzias Cid-Sanchez in a 10-8 decision and then lost to Louisburg's Stacy Mata-Ruiz after getting pinned.
Franklinton head coach Josh Igims declared praise for his seniors and how they have helped keep Franklinton's program near the top of the conference almost every year.
"Every senior has contributed to this team tremendously," Igims said. "A couple of guys have wrestled with us all four years. They have all been an integral part to this program."
Coming into their senior night match, Igims said he wanted his wrestlers to get the bad taste out of their mouth from losing to Fike and Southern Nash in a conference dual tournament the previous Saturday Jan. 18.
"Last week, we came off a tough 42-39 loss against Southern Nash," Igims said. "We got pinned too many times. All this week in practice, we talked about staying off our back. We wanted to try to get those extra bonus points. It showed tonight."
After the wins over Granville Central and Louisburg, Franklinton improved their overall record to 17-8 for the season. Most of their losses were to 4A schools, but against 3A and lower competition, the Red Rams have faired well.
"Overall, we're having a great season," Igims said. "It's still a building year for a building program. We're going to have a really solid team moving forward."
One of the standouts of the season for Franklinton is William Germann. The 160-pound junior has won 95 individual matches in his career and could close out his junior campaign with 100. Igims said he has potential to break the school record for most wins in a career of 126, which was set in 2011.
For now, Franklinton is focused on the 3A conference individual tournament to see who can qualify for regionals and then hopefully states.
"The guys have to practice hard and wrestle hard," Igims said. "If you wrestle hard in practice, you'll wrestle hard in a match, which will lead to more wins."
Franklinton will compete in the 3A Big East conference individual tournament at Southern Nash High School Saturday Feb. 1 starting at 9 a.m.