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Three Danbury wrestlers help No. 7 N.C. State dominate Duke

With three former Danbury High wrestlers in the starting lineup on Friday night, No. 7 North Carolina State closed out their dual meet schedule with a 37-6 win over Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference action at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

Sophomore Jakob Camacho (125) began the evening for the Wolfpack (6-1, 4-1 ACC) with a 14-5 victory over Duke’s Logan Agin. Camacho (7-1) had six takedowns in the match and earned his fourth major decision of the season. Camacho is ranked No. 5 in the country at 125.

Freshman Ryan Jack (133) had a pair of four-point near falls in the second period to earn his first collegiate win by technical fall with a 19-3 win over Duke’s Drake Doolittle. Jack is now 7-3 on the year and wrestled in three of seven Wolfpack dual meets.

Freshman A.J. Kovacs (157) got his first varsity match in a dual for North Carolina State at 157 pounds. Kovacs earned his fourth win of the season with a 4-2 decision over Duke’s Brandon LaRue. Leading by just one, Kovacs controlled LaRue for the entire third period to earn a point of riding time.

North Carolina State returns to action on Sunday, February 28 when the Wolfpack look to win their third straight ACC championship on their home floor.

Camacho will need to finish in the top three at the ACC Tournament to secure an automatic berth into the NCAA Division I tournament in St. Louis in March.

It’s not likely that Jack or Kovacs will wrestle in the ACC tournament with nationally-ranked wrestlers in front of them unless there is an injury or a COVID-19 quarantine situation. North Carolina State’s Jarrett Trombley (133) is ranked No. 11 in the country while Hayden Hidlay (157) is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

In one of eight extra matches after the Duke dual meet, Trombley beat Jack, 6-5.

Jack and Camacho graduated from Danbury High while Kovacs, who wrestled two years with the Hatters, graduated from Iona Prep.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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