State titles, deep postseason runs mark banner year for Wise Central

Kevin Mays • May 21, 2020 at 1:00 PM

NORTON — The 2019-20 school year was a banner year for Wise Central athletic programs.

A couple of teams set program records by advancing further than ever before, while a couple of individuals brought home state championships.


Led by Times News All-Southwest Virginia players Isaiah McAmis and Elijah Hayes, the Warriors advanced to the VHSL Class 2 boys basketball tournament for the first time in school history.

Central finished with a school-best 20-9 record and advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing in overtime to Radford.

The Warriors are also looking for a new boys basketball coach for the first time. T.J. McAmis, the only coach the program has had since the merger of J.J. Kelly and Pound formed Central in 2011, resigned after the season.

McAmis, who also coached at Kelly and Twin Springs, finished his coaching career with 241 wins over 20 seasons.


It was a banner season for Wise Central football, as well.

The Warriors finished with a program-best 10-3 record and won their first two playoff games in school history before Graham ended the post-season run in the Region 2D championship game.

Warriors coach Luke Owens was named the Times News All-Southwest Virginia coach of the year, while Ben Brickey was named receiver of the year and Ethan Mullins was named defensive back of the year.

Central also had running back C.J. Crabtree and lineman Josh Price named to the All-Southwest Virginia team.


Sophomore Maddox Reynolds repeated as a state champion by winning the 55-meter hurdles title at Roanoke College.


Wise Central wrestling gained its first state championship in school history with a victory from senior Jonah Phillips in the 145-pound division at the VHSL Class 2 championships at the Salem Civic Center.

The Warriors also got a state runner-up finish from Austin Eldrige in the 182-pound division.


Four Central swimmers earned Mountain 7 District championships in the winter season.

Jake Orr earned two district titles in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly, while his brother, Camden Orr, won both the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke.

The Orr brothers also teamed with Jaylan Bowman and Gage Wells to win the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.


With only one returning starter in Hannah Carter, Central went through a rebuilding year coming off a state championship season in 2018-19.

Carter led the Lady Warriors in the season that ended with a loss to Lebanon in the Region 2D quarterfinals.


The Lady Warriors had an up and down season, finishing the year with an 11-13 mark.

Former Rye Cove star and Virginia-Wise standout Lucindy Lawson has been named as the program’s new head coach heading into the fall season.


Central’s Jack England and Robbie Wilson advanced to the Region 2D championships after qualifying for the tournament as individuals in the Mountain 7 District championships.

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