February 18th and 19th the Sanderson wrestling team traveled to Wake Forest high school for the 4a Mideast tournament. The Spartans brought 11 wrestlers to the event with the prize of a trip to the “Big Dance”, the state tournament. The wide-eyed team picked up a few wins in the first round with a few losses as well but fought back in the wrestle backs. Freshmen Ben DeRose worked his way into the semifinals where he fell to senior Michael Eastwood but claimed victory over Wakefield 106 pounder, Robert Belonga to punch his ticket into the state tournament. In the third place match DeRose pinned Holly Springs 106 pounder Daniel Myers in the second period. David Losada dominated his way to the semifinals as well until he met familiar cap 8 conference foe, Cole Collins, who he fell to 2-5. He claimed victory against Millbrook 132, Robinson Carroll, to go to the state tournament. Losada pinned in the third place match. Brandon Barrentine fell in the semifinals to Travian Cook in a tough match but recovered in the consolation semifinals against Clayton 170, Chad Sprouse, qualifying for the state tournament. Jalil Monk also qualified for the state tournament after falling in a nail-bitter of a match in the semifinals to Holly Springs Josh Richardson. Monk dominated Fuquay-Varina’s Hunter Therrien in the consolation semifinals and then claimed third place against East Wake’s Alston Willard. The Spartans had other wrestlers fight their heart out in their last match and we pay tribute to those seniors: Solomon Solkowitz, Elliot Davis, Jake Keehn, and Mitch Hackney. Bradley Hughes and Mark Bowens return next year. Sanderson placed 6th at the tournament. The Spartans bring four state qualifiers to the state tournament February 20-21st.