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A total of 28 former Avery High School wrestlers returned to Viking Gym on Friday, Jan. 24, as
the Avery wrestling team held it second-annual Alumni Night. Photo by Skip Sickler

Originally published: 2014-01-30 10:03:14
Last modified: 2014-01-30 10:03:14

Avery wrestling overcomes Owen, dominates home tri-match

Jamie Shell / (

For the past eight seasons, Avery wrestling has come out on the losing end of its annual conference dual meet against Owen.

This year’s Vikings were set to rewrite history — and made a statement in doing so with a 45-25 dual-meet win on Thursday, Jan. 23, on the road. The Vikings followed the win with a pair of home victories on Alumni Night on Friday, Jan. 24, defeating Thomas Jefferson and Virginia High.

Avery 45, Owen 25

On a poignant night for Avery head wrestling coach Derrick Calloway, the Avery wrestling team took care of business in Swannanoa on Thursday, Jan. 23, by defeating the Warhorses 45-25 in dual-meet action.

The evening was emotional for the Vikings coach for multiple reasons. Not only was the coach yearning to compete with and defeat Owen (a goal the team had set in the preseason), but the evening marked the 10th anniversary date of the loss of Calloway’s mother, Barbara, who collapsed and passed away watching her son compete as a high school wrestler at Avery.

“It was a long evening and a different feeling. We had our workout prior to the match, and they realized the significance of the evening. Everything just came together. I told the kids that one of the greatest things I was able to give my mom was those six minutes on the mat. During that time she didn’t have to worry about her health or what was going on with her. For six minutes you lift people up and lift them to a better place,” AHS head wrestling coach Derrick Calloway explained. “The team was there and many of them didn’t know about that aspect of my past, and they were very supportive of me. It was a tough night, but there were a lot of family members and friends present who were supportive and saying prayers for us. This high school and wrestling and these kids mean so much to myself and to our family.”

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to 

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