Seven Weddington High athletes sign to compete in college

Seven Weddington High athletes signed to play at the collegiate level.

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Seven Weddington athletes, including four baseball players and two athletes heading to North Carolina State, signed their national letter of intent Wednesday, Nov. 8 in a ceremony at the high school attended by several dozen family members, friends and teammates.

Tyrie Houghton signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at North Carolina State. Houghton is a two-time Southern Carolina Conference All-Conference selection and he was the Class 3A runner-up in the 182 class at the state wrestling championships last year.

Curtis Wiltsey signed to swim at North Carolina State. Wiltsey was runner-up in the (500 free (4:33.83) at the 2017 NCHSAA Class 3A State Championships, where he also placed fourth in the 200 free (1:42.07), led off the Weddington medley relay (25.63), and anchored the third-place 400 free relay (48.45).

Senior Lindsay Perillo signed to play softball at Western Carolina. Perillo was named to the Class 3A All-State Softball Team as a junior.

Weddington baseball coach Travis Poole saw four of his players sign to play at the college level as Harry Bernard (Wake Tech Community College), Ryan Healy (Catawba Valley Community College), Ryan Sutton (Campbell University) and Matt Burke (Presbyterian College) all inked their letters at the ceremony.

Weddington wrestling coach Shane Rimmer on Houghton: “For us, Tyrie has been a valuable member of our team. He is a rock for us. He is a hard worker and a good leader. You can count on him to go out there and do what he needs to do in tough spots.”

Weddington swimming coach Pam Holley on Wiltsey: “Curtis is a fabulous swimmer with great character. He is dedicated to the sport and he is a great leader on the team for us. N.C. State is a great school to go on to.”

Weddington baseball coach Travis Poole on Harry Bernard: “Harry is an outfielder/infielder that had a good year last year. He has a chance to hit for us this year.”

Poole on Matt Burke: “Matt can really run and he is a left-handed hitter. He does a good job in the outfield.”

Poole on Ryan Healy: “Healy is somewhat of a utility player that has transitioned to third this year, and he has done well. He has a chance to hit in the middle of the order for us.”

Poole on Ryan Sutton: “Ryan has a big arm and he has a chance, if he stays in the zone, to be one of the best pitchers in the entire area. He has a breaking ball that is as good as anybody that I have had.”

Weddington softball coach Claire Lyerly on Lindsay Perillo: “Lindsay is an amazing all-around player. She is natural to the sport. She has done a good job at third base. We put a big emphasis on character and if there is somebody I want to represent any team, that is Lindsay.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at