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Correll promises state title to his biggest fan, and then delivers

Topsail High School wrestler Tate Correll earned the class 2A state championship at 152 pounds to cap a 57-3 season on the mat. (Photo by Photo by Laura Greene)

Sometimes, an athlete's motivation to succeed comes from beyond the field of play.

Topsail wrestler Tate Correll learned all about that this winter.

Before the high school season began, the junior lost both of his grandmothers, who passed away in August and October.

"Before the season started, my (maternal) grandma died," Correll said. "So I told myself I had to win it for her. She came to every wrestling match I wrestled in, so I vowed to win it for her."

Correll did just that, cruising to a Class 2A state championship at 152 pounds to cap a 57-3 season on the mat.

Over four matches in Greensboro, the StarNews All-Area wrestler of the year outscored his competition 32-5.

"I was bawling the whole time," said Jennifer Correll, Tate's mother. "My mom passed away in August, and then his other grandma passed away in October, two weeks before the season started, so it was a rough year. That hit him hard because he was her only grandkid. She went to all of his matches and was a big supporter. So he had said at the beginning of the year that he was going to win states for her. It was very emotional, and a good way to end a bad year."

Correll dealt with the losses while also starting over. He transferred to Topsail after two years at Laney. But Topsail coach Jake Pence had worked with Correll in youth and club wrestling, leaving something familiar for the newest member of the Pirates.

"I told him as soon as he started that he could win states," Pence said. "He just needed to clean up a few things, gain some confidence on his feet. His top game definitely got a lot better and he gained a lot more confidence in himself.

"It was great to see him win it," Pence added. "He's come a long way with his family and stuff. It was good to see him overcome that and rededicate himself to the sport."

Correll also helped his team, which advanced to the East regional final in the dual-team competition and had four wrestlers place in the top six of their weight class at the individual event.

However, fulfilling the promise he made to himself before the season was the real victory for Correll.

"The moment felt nice," Correll said. "I worked hard and had a good reason. A lot of motivation and determination went towards it. It felt really great, mainly relief because I actually did it.

"Now, I got to defend it."

All-Area Wrestling

106: David Bostian, Fr., Laney–36-10 record, 4A state qualifier.

113: Victor Sosa, Sr., Ashley–45-3 record, 4A state runner-up

120: Adam Holden, Sr., Laney–regional qualifier.

126: David Silson, Sr., Hoggard–37-10 record, state qualifier.

132: Russell Harrison, Jr., Laney–20-10 overall record, state qualifier.

138: Phillipe Frederick, Sr., Hoggard–28-8 record, 4A sixth place.

145: Schyler Wagner, Sr., Laney–Regional qualifier

152: Tate Correll, Sr., Topsail (Player of the Year)–57-3 record, 2A state champion

160: Robert Sculthorpe, Sr., Topsail–49-10 record, 2A state qualifier.

170: Marcel Burns, Sr., Laney–44-6 record, 4A fifth place.

182: Homero Segura, Sr., North Brunswick–34-10 overall record, 2A Mideast Regional champion.

195: Brian Capps, Jr., Laney–46-4 record, 4A third place.

220: Joseph Sculthorpe, Fr., Topsail–49-13 record, 2A state runner-up.

285: Larry Williams, Sr., Laney–51-7 record, 4A third place.


Mideastern Conference

Player of the Year–Victor Sosa, Ashley; Coach of the Year–Jonathon Mauney, Laney

First Team: 106–David Bostian, Laney; 113–Victor Sosa, Ashley; 120–Jamad Cradle, Rose; 126–Bryson Carraway, Rose; 132–Russell Harrison, Laney; 138–Pa Sanneh, New Bern; 145–Eric Milks, New Bern; 152–Mitchell LaFave, Hoggard; 160–Joey Wieble, Laney; 170–Marcel Burns, Laney; 182–DeAndre Jones, New Bern; 195–Brian Capps, Laney; 220–Grant Bowman, Laney; 285–Larry Williams, Laney

Second Team: 106–Zachary Thomas, Rose; 113–Adan Hardy, Laney; 120–Adam Holden, Laney; 126–Josh Forbis, New Bern; 132–James Wagner, Rose; 138–Cole Plott, Laney; 145–Michael Wilson, Ashley; 152–Skylar Wagner, Laney; 160–Christian Rust, New Bern; 170–Dalton Hill, New Bern; 182–Arec Moore, Hoggard; 195–Tristan Kandare, Hoggard; 220–Lucas Majkut, Ashley; 285–Malik Moore, Hoggard

East Central Conference

106–Bryan Mol, Swansboro; 113–Greyson Millis, Croatan; 120–Alex Bray, Croatan; 126–Jacob Butler, Swansboro; 132–Austin Meaney, Croatan; 138–Brody McGrath, Croatan; 145–Nate Fallon, Croatan; 152–Tate Correll, Topsail; 160–Robert Sculthorpe, Topsail; 170–Andrew Colborn, Croatan; 182–Matt Schaefer, Topsail; 195–Kyle Colborn, Croatan; 220–Trey Eason, Northside; 285–Johnathan Rigsby, Croatan

Waccamaw Conference

106–Caleb Jasper, West Brunswick; 113–Jyquan Green, West Brunswick; 120–Porfirio Bautista, West Brunswick; 126–Campbell Alspaugh, West Brunswick; 132–Dustin Jones, South Brunswick; 138–David Frazier, West Brunswick; 145–Sterling Fullerton, West Brunswick; 152–Trey Borsuk, South Brunswick; 160–Dylan Darguzas, West Brunswick; 170–Evin Bellamy, North Brunswick; 182–Albert Landa, West Brunswick; 195–Dakota Smith, West Brunswick; 285–Marquis Brown, West Brunswick