The long-awaited moment finally arrived for C.B. Aycock wrestlers Tyler Hughes and Christian Decatur.
Months after finishing their senior seasons undefeated — and winning individual state champions — the pair received their state championship rings and the James Johnson Award over the weekend from The TakeDown Report.
The James Johnson award is given to the top senior scholastic wrestler in Eastern North Carolina each year. Decatur and Hughes won the award along with North Brunswick’s Bryan Aragao, who also went undefeated and won a state championship last season.
It’s the third time in school history a wrestler from C.B. Aycock has won the award. Ngu Tran won the award in 2007.
Hughes, who now wrestles at the University of Mount Olive, went 61-0 his senior season, while Decatur finished his senior season with a 63-0 record.
In four years of high school, Decatur won his three state championships. He earned his first two at Rosewood High School, and for his senior year, he transferred to C.B. Aycock.
Decatur, who now wrestles at the University of Noth Carolina at Pembroke, ended his high school career with a state-record of 238 wins, which broke his brother Timothy Decatur’s record of 236 wins. Decatur finished his high school career with a 238-10 overall record, 154 consecutive wins, and four state finals appearances in four years.
Timothy Decatur also won the James Johnson Award in 2019.
C.B. Aycock coach Brian Doyle said Hughes “is one of the best to ever wrestle for C.B.Aycock.” Doyle added he was proud Hughes overcame an injury that cost him his entire sophomore season. In his freshman season, Hughes won the 3A East Regionals and qualified for a state title.
Hughes finished his freshman season with a 49-13 record. After returning from an injury, Hughes bounced back during his junior year to win another regional title, but Hughes did not win a state title. Finally, in his senior year, Hughes won a state championship. In his high school career, Hughes won 117 of his last 121, and his high school career record is 166-17.
The James Johnson Award is named after James Johnson, a former wrestler at D.H. Conley High School in Greenville. Johnson was the school’s first wrestler to win a state title and was a coach with the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.