Since 1972, WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting Company have sponsored the WRAL Wrestling Tournament in Raleigh. This year, the WRAL Wrestling Tournament will be held Dec. 21-22 at Athens Drive High School.
The field includes 37 teams in a double-elimination tournament. The tournament is held on six mats.
2012 Tournament Schedule
|Friday, Dec. 21||Saturday, Dec. 22|
Jefferson (GA) won the 2011 WRAL Wrestling Tournament with a team score of 256 points. Parkland (NC) placed second with a score of 215.5. Ocean Lakes (VA), Pinecrest (NC), and Jack Britt (NC) rounded out the top five.
Nick Kee of Scotland County was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler after winning the 160 pound weight class.
Dustin Roemer of Pinecrest recorded five falls in a total of 11:15 to receive the award for Most Falls in Least Time. Roemer wrestled in the 152 pound weight class.
Jefferson (GA) took home the Team Sportsmanship Award as well.
In October 1972 Bob Caudle of WRAL-TV in Raleigh proposed that a high school wrestling tournament be held at NC State on December 29-30. This signaled the birth of the WRAL Invitational! The tournament committee consisted of Johnny Clements and Watson Hollifield, the city and county athletic directors, Jerry Daniels, NC State Wrestling Coach, and tournament director, Jerry Barker, then Assistant Wrestling Coach at NC State. Seven Raleigh area schools participated and the finals were done LIVE, Saturday afternoon at 1:30 in the WRAL-TV studio.
The 25th annual tournament was held at Athens Drive High School in December 1996. It was a celebration of 25 years of a great tournament - with 20 outstanding teams from four states; recognition of past champions; appreciation to Capitol Broadcasting Company for faithful sponsorship; and more! At the awards ceremony on Saturday night, place winners were presented with medals by 1996 Olympic champion Kendall Cross.
During its 40 year history, the WRAL has had 633 different teams, over 6,500 wrestlers, from 151 schools from NC, SC, VA, WV, WI, GA, PA, NJ, FL and LA. Three tournaments were decided on the very last match. There have been several outstanding wrestlers, most notably Dave Cooke (Sanderson, placed 2nd in NCAA), Jay Stainback (Sanderson, placed 2nd in NCAA DII), Stan Banks (E. Mecklenburg, NCAA All-American and College All-Star winner), and New Bern’s Raymond Jordan, 2010 NCAA runner-up. Other notable wrestlers are Colton Palmer (Durham Riverside), 2-time NC state champ, the ONLY 4-time WRAL champion, and national record holder for wins in a season with 91, and Jon Burns (Cardinal Gibbons) 2-time WRAL Champion, 2-time NC state champion, and 2007 Walsh Ironman.