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Henry Kopf '23 Wins NCISAA Wrestling Championship at 106 lbs.; Team Places Fourth
Henry Kopf '23 Wins NCISAA Wrestling Championship at 106 lbs.; Team Places Fourth

Ravenscroft varsity wrestling placed fourth at the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Championships, held Feb. 27, 2021, at Providence Day School in Charlotte. This was the program's seventh Top-5 finish in the last seven seasons. Nine Ravenscroft wrestlers qualified and competed in the tournament. Sophomore Henry Kopf '23 took the championship in the 106-lb. weight class with a 6-2 decision. Kopf's victory continues Coach Garrett Cummings' streak of having an NCISAA State Champion for eight years in a row.

"Henry has looked really confident this season and was able to execute his technique and style really effectively at States. He decisively beat the runner-up, third-place and fourth-place wrestlers in the bracket on Saturday, really earning the title," Cummings said. "To win it as a sophomore and have two years left to compete is really exciting. I think Henry's win and poise while doing it was a good example for the younger guys to look to for inspiration."

In addition, the team had eight Top-6 finishers in their overall fourth-place finish:

NCISAA State Champions by weight class

Henry Kopf '23 (106), first place

NCISAA Top-6 finishers by weight class

Mikey Leaf '25 (113), fourth place

Alejandro Alston '23 (132), fifth place

Connor Phillips '21 (138), fourth place

Eric Belcea '22 (152), fourth place

Cole Phillips '21 (160), third place

David Gring '21 (170), fifth place

Noah Bennett '21 (195), sixth place

Fabrizzio Jimenez '21 (220), third place

"The entire team competed with a lot of courage and bounced back strong after having a tough semifinals round," Cummings said. "I'm really proud of the effort and sacrifices the guys had to make this season to just simply compete. To be there at a state championship, getting three on the podium with Top-3 places, an individual state championship, and winning a conference championship is just phenomenal."

In addition, assistant coach Alan Carter was named National Prep Wrestling's assistant coach of the year for the state of North Carolina. This recognition is voted on by all head coaches and the sport chair and recognizes the work of assistant coaches who go out of their way to program build and support athletes and other coaches.

"Coach Carter helped make our home dual meets run this year by planning and executing COVID protocols that kept everyone as safe as possible," Cummings said. "He was also very dynamic in the practice room and on the corner of the mat as a technique coach."

Congratulations to all of these Ravens on an outstanding season.

Above, Henry Kopf '23, center, is recognized as the state champion for the 106-lb. weight class; below, senior wrestlers Connor Phillips, David Gring, Fabrizzio Jimenez, Cole Phillips, Nick Watson and Noah Bennett at an earlier meet.