Zach Bare signing

Zach Bare, center, signs to wrestle at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. At the signing, Bare was surrounded by friends and family, including Larry and Karen Bare, Gabe Bare, Timothy Peterson, Hunter Knight and Sam Woods.

WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe County’s two-time 2A state champion wrestler, Zach Bare, announced he will be attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke Friday, May 3. Bare will continue his wrestling career as a collegiate student-athlete.

“They have a really good program,” Bare said. “I really like coach (O.T. Johnson). He seems like a guy that cares about, not just winning, but about his wrestlers. (Pembroke is) one of the top Division II wrestling schools in the nation. I went down there, and it just felt like that was the place I should go.”

High school coach Adam Elliott said the future for Bare is endless.

“He’s going to go down to Pembroke and build on what he already has all through his youth wrestling, travel wrestling, middle school (and high school),” Elliott said.

Bare said he feels prepared to handle the workload of college classes and participating in a sport at UNC Pembroke.

“I’ve taken college classes now, so I’m used to having quite a bit of homework and participating in year-round sports, too,” Bare said. “I know its going to be different and more, but I’ll just have to adjust to it.”

At his signing event, in the Ashe County High School media center, Bare said it was awesome to be surrounded by friends and family, including father Larry Bare, mother Karen Bare, brother Gabe Bare, girlfriend Sam Woods and friends Timothy Peterson and Hunter Knight.

Elliott and other past coaches of Bare’s were also on hand at the signing.

“He’s going to step up a level,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be more intense, and not only do you have wrestling work outs, you have weight room, you have running and you add on a whole college load — but Zach will do well. I see a bright future for Zach and wish him the most success.”

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