After almost 1,300 matches and three grueling days of competition, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state wrestling championships at the Greensboro Coliseum wrapped up Saturday night with the championship matches in all four classifications. Individual weight class champions in 56 different divisions across the four classifications were crowned.
Independence High School wrestler Casey Belville placed third at the state competition. In the preliminary round, he beat Gerald Whitaker of Davie County by a score of 5-2.  During the quater final round, Belville defeated Phillip Frederick of Hoggard 9-3.  This put Casey in the semifinal round where he faced  the favorite to win it all, Tony DeAngelo of Southern Alamance.  Deangelo proved to be too much and pinned Belville late in the second period.  DeAngelo went on to win the 138 lbs. weight class.  At this point, Casey was already guaranteed a top six placing in the state tournament—it was just how high he would finish. In the consolation semifinal round, Belville beat Grant Bateman of Pinecrest 7-0.  Casey was now in the match to determing third/fourth place. His opponent was Jonathon Bennett of SE Guilford.  Belville was victorious by a score of 4-2, and earned a third place medal.
“Casey ended his career with a win. Few can say that,” says Independence Head Wrestling Coach Ben Barry.
“Although it wasn’t the state championship he had worked for, Casey’s third place finish demonstrated great resiliency and courage.  He ended his high school career strong and with tremendous class.  I’m very proud.”