IN THIS CORNER

We take some folks in the sports world for granted.

Just take a quick look at basketball.

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski hasn’t won an ACC Coach of the Year honor since 2000, while North Carolina’s Roy Williams hasn’t won it since 2011.

They don’t get the hardware because their success is expected.

Our thought process at the News-Times isn’t much different.

We ran our Top 10 stories of 2020 on Sunday, and Croatan wrestling was nowhere to be found.

In our defense, when you win every year, it’s hardly news. It’s like the sun rising and setting every day.

But here is a shoutout to that program because it deserves the recognition.

All the Croatan wrestling team did in 2020 is finish as the 2A state runner-up … again.

The Cougars were hardly any competition for Fred T. Foard in a 59-9 loss in the state final in February, however, just getting that far is quite an accomplishment.

Just ask the hundreds of other wrestling programs in the state. Only four finish in second place.

Croatan found itself in the state final for the third straight season and finished as the runner-up for the third year in a row.

The Cougars have now gone to the state dual final in 10 of the last 16 seasons, going 2-8 in those matches.

They won back-to-back dual-team and individual state crowns in 2010 and 2011 during a run that saw them go to the dual-team state final in four consecutive seasons (2010-2013). The 2011 club represents the last 2A team from the eastern part of the state to win a state title.

David Perry started the wrestling program at Croatan when the school opened in 1998.

He has helped mold the Cougars into a power, with his teams winning five dual-team and individual state championships (2010, 2011, 2013).

Croatan has earned 13 dual-team or individual state runner-up honors from 2005-2020 while capturing 20 conference championships and 13 regional titles in 21 years as a varsity program.

Perry’s teams have compiled a 562-126 dual-team record during his tenure.

(Send comments or questions to jj@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)

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