The West Holmes High School wrestling Knights could never get any momentum going Friday night, Jan. 5 against Indian Valley High School, dropping a 54-18 setback in dual meet action held inside at West Holmes Middle School. The loss to the Braves, the Knights first dual loss of the season, gives WHHS a 4-1 mark in dual meets.
“We just couldn’t get a win, and it snowballed on us,” Knights wrestling first-year head coach Scott Vaughn said following the meet. “We had to juggle the lineup and moved guys up a weight class or two from where they normally wrestle, thinking that was what we had to do to try and match up with them. Give them credit. That’s a good team from top to bottom.”
Starting the meet at 160 pounds, the Braves rolled off five wins in six contested matches to pull out to a 34-0 lead. It started with 160 pounds, Jacob Armstrong defeating Skylar Cline by fall in 4:35, and continued at 170 pounds, where Jarrett Swinderman topped Braden Myers by an 11-1 major decision.
Indian Valley kept the heat on, getting wins in the bigger weight classes. Matt Love beat Hayden Baker by fall in 3:52 at 182 pounds, and at 195 pounds Brodey Parsons stopped Stephen Baldridge by fall at 2:58.
220-pounder Nick Love won by forfeit, and Tanner Quillin clipped Ethan VanSickle by fall at :50 at 285 pounds to give Indian Valley an insurmountable 34-0 advantage over the Knights.
“These guys work hard, the coaching staff works hard and it has been a lot of years in the making, but I feel like we are where we want to be,” Indian Valley head coach Nick Swaldo said. “Facing West Holmes is always going to be a challenge, and we cherish the opportunity to come here and make ourselves better against good competition.”
With a team of three state qualifiers and five district qualifiers, Swaldo and his staff have every reason to believe this year could be something special. So far it has been really good.
“There are expectations here for this group, and these kids understand that, so they know they have to work hard every night out,” Swaldo said. “We are very excited about what we saw tonight.”
The Knights got on the board, courtesy of forfeit wins for freshmen Jack Welsh at 106 and Corbin Miller at 113 and a fall win from sophomore Cael Woods at 120 pounds, defeating Ashton Sell at 3:09. That cut the Braves’ lead to 34-18, but that was as close as West Holmes would get.
Vaughn and his staff decided to roll the dice by bumping each of the wrestlers beginning with Woods up a weight class, and against a little bit smaller wrestlers, the Braves took advantage. Unfortunately for the Knights, those three victories were their only wins on the night as Indian Valley won the final five bouts to close out the meet.
“This Indian Valley team has been a talented group coming up through, and we expected them to be good from top to bottom,” Vaughn said. “We talked before the meet about there being a lot of swing matches, and we had to perform well in those matches to compete and pull through, and it seemed like every single one of those matches went their way. But overall they were tough, physical and aggressive, and we weren’t, so that was the biggest difference.”
“We decided to bump from 113 on up to 152, and they were all matches we thought we had a shot at,” Vaughn said. “In the grand scheme of things, looking back and reflecting, they were good-caliber kids against our good-caliber kids, so these were matches we needed to have to get better. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to turn out, but we’ll take it as a learning experience.”
At 126 pounds Brady O’Connor defeated Tyler Masters by a 10-3 decision, and then 132-pound state qualifier Dalton Burcher got past Thane Kaufman by a 10-1 major decision. At 138 pounds Adam Lenhoff defeated Walker Uhl by a 14-3 major decision. At 145 pounds Therron Stocker took care of Hunter Bowling by fall at 5:19, and 152-pounder Zach Love worked past Cruz Alexander in a 6-0 decision.
Masters, Kaufman, Uhl, and Cruz have all wrestled very well this season, but the bump up in competition took a toll on each of them.
Knights JV wrestlers go 3-3 in matchups with Braves
Six junior varsity matches were contested between West Holmes and Indian Valley High Schools when the teams faced each other Friday, Jan. 5 at West Holmes Middle School, and each squad won three matches.
Scoring wins for the Knights were sophomores Kendel Weber at 120 pounds and Josh Sayers, who earned a win by fall at 145, while senior Will Rowe eked out a 5-4 decision victory at 145 pounds. Grabbing wins for the Braves were Roger Naylor, Caden Keathley and Preston Slocumb.
Knights top Indian Valley 49-39 to push dual mark to perfect 5-0
The West Holmes Middle School wrestling team improved to 5-0 in dual meets after posting a 49-39 comeback win over Indian Valley Middle School in the action held Friday, Jan. 5 at West Holmes Middle School.
After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, the Knights saw the Braves slowly creep back in it and actually take the lead at 33-25 after the 142-pound bout. But fall wins from eighth-graders Dillon Miller (150) and Noah Clark (160) coupled with forfeit wins for WHMS at 172 and 245 gave the edge to the Knights.
“We jumped out to that lead early, but they came back on us,” Knights middle school wrestling head coach Jeremy Dombrady said. “We knew we were pretty strong with our light weights. They were a bit better in the middle weights, and it didn’t help we had to forfeit a couple of weight classes. But those evened out with us getting a couple forfeit wins later on. Plus those pins by Dillon and Noah sewed it up for us.”
Dombrady was impressed with the performance of Dylan Strouse (98 lb.), honoring the eighth-grader with the Knights Middle School Wrestling “Hammer of the Week Award.”
“Dylan showed some fight,” Dombrady said. “He was trailing in the second period, worked off the bottom, and made a great turn on the kid and pinned him. That was very good to see.”
Scoring exhibition bout fall wins for the Knights were seventh-graders Zeke Galbraith (80 lb.), Caleb Larimore (86 lb.) and Beau Norman (98 lb.).
Additional information courtesy of Bret Curren.