Warriors win six matches by forfeit, top Patriots
Given that the team was giving up six forfeits when it squared off with La Plata on Tuesday night, there was virtually no chance that Northern’s wrestling squad was going to be able to pull off a win over the Warriors.
Nevertheless, Northern head coach John Battle challenged his team to win all eight of the matches actually contest- ed. The Patriots nearly reached the goal, winning six of the eight over the hosts. It wasn’t to be enough, however, as La Pla- ta won two bouts by fall to go along with the six forfeits to claim a 48-33 Southern Maryland Athletic Conference victory.
La Plata’s two wins on the mat came courtesy of David Hayes (120 pounds) and Michael Bellerose (132), both of whom won by pin.
“I was very pleased with how David Hayes performed,” La Plata head coach John Pankhurst said in a text message on Wednesday morning regarding the night’s action. “We have been working on some specific techniques at length recently and he is showing an awareness and feel of how and when to apply them, so that was positive. Michael Bellerose was also very sharp, as well. I believe he is rounding into good form and building confidence in his attacks, as well.”
Losing the other six bouts left a bit of a sour taste, though. The Warriors were pinned in five of them.
“I have spent some time reflecting on our shortcomings last night and I believe that in some instances you have to applaud your competition because they are working and developing also,” Pankhurst said, “and in other instances we need to do a better job with aspects of our life and training.”
La Plata (17-13, 4-0 SMAC) is next scheduled to wrestle against Chopticon and host Patuxent in a tri-match on Jan. 10.
On the other side of the mat, winners for Northern were Zack Hoffman (170), Seth Cranford (182), Marvin Mitchell (220), Finn Yankanich (106), Rex Fleming (145) and Lance Adriani (152). In the first three bouts actually wrestled, Hoffman, Cranford and Mitchell all won by fall in less than a minute. Yankanich pinned La Plata’s Owen Butler with just
10 seconds remaining in the third period, while Adriani won by fall in the second period of his 152-pound match.
The night’s only bout to go the distance — and beyond — was between Fleming and La Plata’s Nick Meadows at 145. Meadows led 4-1 late in the third period, but Fleming fought to knot the score on a nearfall as the period closed and then scored the decisive takedown with about 10 seconds remaining in the overtime session.
“I knew it was going to be a hard one because last year I saw [Meadows] wrestle in youth league. He did pretty well, so I knew I’d have to come out strong,” said Fleming, blood still smeared over various part of his face following the battle. “I knew he was good at shooting, so I had to look out for the shot. When he got the first few points, I just knew I had to step it up and get big . ... I knew I had to step it up and get a big move. It was going to be hard for me to get the three points, but I knew I had to. I saw the cradle and hooked it up and got the back points to tie it up. By then I was super tired, but I found a little spark in my body. I just had to pull it out.”
Northern (8-4, 4-1) is scheduled to host its annual Patriot Classic tournament today and tomorrow. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. today and continue at 10 a.m. Saturday.