The Ravenscroft wrestling team had three seniors — Calvin Atkeson (285), Weldon DeMent (138) and Bryson Wicker (160) — wrestle at the 83rd National Prep Wrestling Tournament, held at Lehigh University in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 23-24.
Calvin Atkeson '18 defeated Brandon Roberts of Good Counsel (Fall), Eric Pilcher from Tilton School (Fall) and Nick Martino of Wyoming Seminary (Decision 5-3) to advance to the semifinals, where he was guaranteed a Top 6 finish and All-American honors. He lost a tough decision to the No. 1 seed, PJ Mustipher from Mcdonogh School (Decision 2-7). Calvin bounced back, defeating Zachary Minch from Loomis Chaffee School (Decision 3-1, Overtime). This victory, his 127th, gave Calvin the record for all-time wins by a Ravenscroft wrestler, surpassing former teammate Ian Conley '17. He closed out his career against the No. 2 seed, Francesco Borsellino from Western Reserve Academy (Fall). Calvin is only the third wrestler in Ravenscroft history to earn All-American honors and the first since Nathan Dnistran '01 in 2001.
Weldon (1-2) and Bryson (2-2) both picked up pins in their first trip to National Prep. Weldon earned his pin over Billy Roberts of Westtown School at 2:33 of the second period. Bryson pinned Brandon Li from Lawrenceville School in the second period (2:57). The team scored 27 points to place 25th overall out of 130 teams.
"I am thrilled with the way in which these three athletes performed and the way we represented our program, our school and the NCISAA up in Pennsylvania," said wrestling coach Garrett Cummings. "It was an incredible honor for me to coach against some of the most storied and heralded programs and coaches in the country. We more than accomplished any goals that we had going into the tournament, with Calvin finishing in the Top Four at heavyweight and Weldon and Bryson chipping in team points for a Top 25 team finish."
He added, "The guys reflected the whole car ride back to North Carolina about their journey, from beginning wrestling in seventh grade to struggling to earn starting spots on varsity, overcoming injuries, winning championships and winning matches and medals at Nationals as seniors. It was a really special weekend that these three seniors will remember forever. I know I will as well."