App State wrestling opens season on the road


Courtesy of Travis Holshouser, App State Athletics

Two Mountaineers embrace during App State’s match with NC State Nov. 4, 2022.

Trey Blake and Ben Brady

App State wrestling opened its regular season on the road, falling to NC State Nov. 4 and competing at Roanoke College in the Southeast Open Nov. 5.

The Mountaineers took four of 10 matches in their 26-12 loss to the Wolfpack. At the Southeast Open, redshirt freshman Triston Norris secured the heavyweight title as App State finished with five semi-finalists overall. 

Friday night kicked off in the 141-pound weight class as sophomore Heath Gonyer faced Ryan Jack. Gonyer struggled to get anything going as Jack dominated him on the ground and surpassed over three minutes of ride time. Gonyer recorded just two points from escapes and the bout ended 11-2.

The second match saw App State’s All-American from last year and one of three preseason All-SoCon wrestlers on the roster, redshirt senior Jon Jon Millner, against Jackson Arrington. Millner took control early and never relinquished, achieving an early takedown to go up 3-0 in the initial period. He shut out Arrington as the match ended 6-0 for the Mountaineers’ first win of the night and settling the team scores at 4-3. 

The next match saw a second preseason All-SoCon wrestler as 157-pound redshirt senior Cody Bond face-off against the Wolfpack’s Ed Scott. With much of the same as the first bout, Bond was unable to get much going against Scott, only mustering up five points to Scott’s 14.
The fourth bout saw a 165 pound match as redshirt junior Will Formato faced down against Don Cates. Formato achieved App State’s second win of the night in an overtime thriller that saw Formato escape twice in regulation and force a stall by Cates in the extra period to squeak out a 3-2 win, allowing the Black and Gold to bounce back at team scores of 8-6.
The next three matches saw sophomore Will Miller at 174 pounds, redshirt freshman Luke Uilano at 184 pounds and sophomore Wyatt Miller at 197 pounds all fail to capitalize on the momentum that Formato created. 

Miller seemed to be the most impressive of the three, losing 12-8 to Brock Delsignore and achieving a couple takedowns in the midst of it. While a close match between Miller and Delsignore was an OK sight, the Uilano-Trent Hidlay and Miller-Isaac Trumble face-offs each saw early pins against both Mountaineer wrestlers, which allowed NC State to jump out to a commanding 23-6 lead. 

In a heavyweight bout that saw junior Jacob Sartorio against Owen Trephen, Sartorio was unable to muster much other than one take down in the second period. Trephan kept up the Wolfpack’s streak, extending it to four as he defeated Sartorio 8-3. 

The 125 pounds duel saw the third preseason All-SoCon wrestler in redshirt sophomore Caleb Smith take on Jarrett Trombley. Going into the third period that saw Smith up 3-1 after a big second period takedown, the energy in the circle seemed to shift as Trombley escaped Smith’s hold late in the period, but Smith held on, breaking the match streak of the Wolfpack as he beat Trombley 3-2. 

The final fixture of the night saw redshirt sophomore Sean Carter compete against Kai Orine. After a stalemate that saw the two tied up after three periods at one apiece, Carter secured a huge takedown in overtime to overtake Orine 3-2. App State to cut the lead to a final of 26-12 in favor of the Wolfpack. 

On Saturday, the Mountaineers traveled to Roanoke, Virginia to compete in the Southeast Open. Thirteen wrestlers competed in the Freshman/Sophomore division, while eight competed in the Open division. 

Sophomore Tommy Askey and junior Jacob Sartorio each recorded fourth place finishes in the Open division in the 157-pound and heavyweight brackets, respectively. Redshirt freshman OJ Bost finished sixth at 165-pounds in the division. 

Norris won all four of his matches in the Freshman/Sophomore division en route to the heavyweight title. In the final match, Norris executed a takedown with under two minutes remaining to break the tie and recorded over a minute of riding time in the 4-2 victory. 

Also in the division, true freshman Hunter Adams placed third and redshirt freshman Dalton Battle placed fifth in the 184-pound bracket. Freshman Noah Luna also placed fourth in the 125-pound bracket.

The Mountaineers return to the Holmes Center for their annual Mountaineer Invitational tournament Saturday, Nov. 12.