Wrestling win

Tro­jans main­tain com­po­sure

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE -

ST. MICHAELS — Kevin Mal­lory prob­a­bly could not have imag­ined the sig­nif­i­cance of his men­tal tough­ness when he stepped onto the wrestling mat here Jan. 24. The un­proven Kent County fresh­man main­tained his com­po­sure when his op­po­nent could not, and his win by pin at 120 pounds proved to be the dif­fer­ence in the match.

Kent County up­set host St. Michaels, 42-40, for its first dual-match vic­tory of the sea­son. This also was the first win for Kent’s first-year head coach, Brett King.

“I’ll say it’s great for the team to get a win. I hope they like the feel­ing and stay hun­gry for it. They have worked hard in the prac­tice room and the en­ergy in the room feels dif­fer­ent,” King wrote in an email.

“They are buy­ing in to what this coach­ing staff has been drilling and it payed off tonight.”

Mal­lory was trail­ing 8-1 when he caught ju­nior Chris Gu­tier­rez with 4 min­utes, 33 sec­onds elapsed in the 6-minute bout.

Gu­tier­rez then dis­played con­duct that the ref­eree deemed un­sports­man­like, cost­ing the Saints two team points.

Ul­ti­mately, those two points made the dif­fer­ence.

“Kev could have given up be­ing down 8-1 and al­ready get­ting pinned by that young man once be­fore at our hol­i­day tour­na­ment, but all his hard work paid off and he found a new level,” King wrote in an email the day af­ter the match.

“Same with all our guys. I told the team last night that this was a team win. Even our guys that got pinned are grind­ing in prac­tice and mak­ing ev­ery­one around them bet­ter. Iron sharp­ens iron.”

The Saints led 12-0 af­ter win­ning the 103-pound bout by for­feit and the 113-pound bout by first-pe­riod pin.

Mal­lory in­ter­rupted St. Michaels’ run with a pin at 120, and then the home team got back on track with wins by for­feit at 126 and 132 to ex­tend its lead to 22-6.

Kent County sopho­more Shane War­ren (138) stuck Al- len Keen in 17 sec­onds for the fastest pin of the night, touch­ing off a string of three wins in four bouts that closed the gap to 28-24 af­ter fresh­men Will Ash­more (145) and Ty Wil­son (160) picked up for­feits.

The Tro­jans won three of the last five bouts to com­plete the come­back. Sopho­more Kolby Wal­ters (182), fresh­man Josh Un­kle (195) and se­nior Gun­ner Jones (285) each won by for­feit.

Kent took its first lead at 3634 af­ter the 195-pound bout and won the match when Jones was awarded a for­feit in the fi­nal bout.

There were only four con­tested bouts. Kent won two by pin and St. Michaels won two by pin.

Short­handed Kent — two wrestlers were kept out of the lineup due to ill­ness — gave up a to­tal of 24 points due to for­feits at 106, 126, 132 and 220.

In other wrestling news, Kent was a last-minute en­try in the Del­marva Clas­sic at James Bennett on Jan. 20. The Tro­jans en­tered nine weight classes. Fresh­man Gabe Yian­nakis (126), Ash­more, se­nior R.J. Ball (152), Wal­ters and Jones each went 3-2; Mal­lory, Wil­son and sopho­more Isa­iah Hack­ett (220) each won one bout.

Hack­ett’s win was by pin. His tour­na­ment was cur­tailed by in­jury in the next bout.

Kent went 0-5 in the dual­match tour­na­ment, in­clud­ing a 34-33 loss to Wi­comico. The matches against Cam­bridge and North Dorch­ester were more com­pet­i­tive than in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

King wrote in a Jan. 23 email, “The scores are get­ting closer as our guys progress. We are still losing matches, but as long as we are as a team con­sis­tently im­prov­ing, we are go­ing to con­sider this a suc­cess.”

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

Brett King, far left, is the first-year head coach of Kent County High School’s wrestling program. His staff in­cludes, from left, Mike Mene­fee and KCHS grad­u­ates Matt Jones and Tay­lor Moore, seated.

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