By Bret Curren
The West Holmes High School varsity wrestling team completed the dual meet portion of its schedule Wednesday, February 15 scoring a pair of wins to propel itself into the tournament with some nice momentum.
The Knights battled to a 41-30 victory over New Philadelphia and added a resounding 60-12 thumping of host River View in action at River View High School in Warsaw.
With the pair of wins, the Knights finish the season with a 9-4 dual meet mark. In the match-up with New Philadelphia, the Knights used a initial win from senior Cody Woods at 152-pounds by a fall victory and a 19-11 major decision win by sophomore Ryan O’Donnell at 160-pounds to give West Holmes a quick 10-0 lead. The Knights got only two wins in the next five matches as sophomore Josh Baldridge (182-pounds) and senior Alex Walker (220) both scored fall victories to give West Holmes a 22-15 edge heading into the lightweights.
Forfeit wins for junior Thane Kaufman (106) and freshman Cael Woods (113) plus an 8-0 major decision by Tyler Masters (120) pushed the Knight lead to 38-15. However, the Quakers picked up wins at 126-pounds and 132-pounds to get back into the dual at 38-27 with two bouts remaining. West Holmes junior Colton Bowling (138) earned a hard fought 6-0 decision win which sewed up the meet for the Knights despite a New Philadelphia win at 145-pounds.
Following the tight battle with the Quakers, the Knights had little trouble in their dual with the Black Bears, winning 11-of-14 bouts with nine of those wins coming via fall.
Scoring pins for the Knights were Kaufman, Masters, freshman Jarek Snow (132), Bowling, freshman Cruz Alexander (145), Cody Woods, Baldridge, senior Jake Mullet (195) and Walker, while Cael Woods and Cline pocketed decision wins for West Holmes. Cline’s win was huge as the junior came from behind to knock off River View’s returning state qualifier, senior Brody Bookless, in the 160-pound match-up. That win earned Cline the West Holmes Varsity Wrestling ‘Hammer of the Meet Award’ in the dual against River View from Knights head coach Jeff Woods. Coach Jeff Woods honored Colton Bowling with the West Holmes Varsity Wrestling ‘Hammer of the Meet Award’ for his meet-clinching win against New Philadelphia.
Knights junior varsity wrestlers Gavin Harter (120) went 1-1 on the evening while sophomore Tre Anderson (138 and 145 lbs.) finished 0-2. In the dual between River View and New Philadelphia, the Black Bears scratched out a 42-38 win over the Quakers.