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King crowned as top grappler

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North Pitt's Sincere King, top, wrestles Dixon's Kamron Stewart during a tournament on Dec. 16, 2017 at North Pitt. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

As a senior, Sincere King complied a 50-5 record for the North Pitt High School wrestling team.

His talents performance earned him not only the ability to continue to compete at Delaware Valley (Pa.), but King also received the Michael Stokes Award from online North Carolina amateur wrestling publication The Takedown Report.

The award yearly crowns top individual wrestlers in eastern North Carolina.

King was also honored as the top wrestler in Pitt County and the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference. In his senior season, he won four tournaments: the Pitt County tournament, the Eastern Plains Conference tournament, the North Pitt Invitational and the Eagle Invitational. King is the third Panther to earn the honor, as brothers Angel (2015) and Xavier (2011) Najar also previously received the award. 

“Winning the award made me feel good. It really helped that someone else I looked up to, Angel, also won the award. He was a real role model,” King said. “I felt like I had accomplished something. It gave me the satisfaction and the confidence to know I had also accomplished something he was able to do.”

King has been on the radar for the award for quite some time. Last season, he finished fourth in the east rankings. King’s third-place finish in the 2017 state tournament help vault him to becoming No. 1 this year. King finished his high school career with a 178-54 record, which is second-best in school history. He also finished with two state titles. 

King said the award was a culmination of the rigorous training regimen he has endured through high school and will continue to adhere to as he enters college.

“Wrestling is the most physical endurance sport around, and I’ve played seven different sports,” King said. “It all begins with the practices, those are two hours of straight conditioning. They have the ladders and the plates and all of that.”

King described that high school wrestling training focuses more on physically moving another human, rather than sitting and lifting weights.

“The tempo stays high, and it’s like lifting 300 pounds nonstop,” He said. 

With his days in Bethel now behind him, King will move on to Delaware Valley, where he will continue to compete. King said he received many offers, mostly from Division II schools. His choice to attend Delaware Valley was made on the basis that he was searching for new scenery, looking to move on from North Carolina and to have the ability to be financially stable. While Delaware Valley will be paying him for a full-ride scholarship, he will continue to work in his spare time, as he has joined the National Guard in Pennsylvania.

King’s accomplishments are not limited to the mat, as he continues to achieve academically as well.

“I am only the second person in three generations in my family to graduate on time,” King said. “My brother was first, and then me and my sister. My work ethic is to be tough, because I came from a place where people don’t always leave. I take things very seriously, 110 percent. I was blessed with a lot of attributes, including my athleticism, which have allowed me to succeed.”

His advice to kids looking to one day compete athletically at a high level?

“I started wrestling in sixth grade, and that made me a good D-II or D-III wrestler, but if you want to be a D-I wrestler you have to start early and be dedicated early,” King said. “You have to remember that when you train, you’re not only competing against the guys on your team, but you are competing against everyone else. You’re not the only one out there working hard. You have to be willing to go out and run and lift and put in the extra work to be the best.” 

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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