Knights matmen end regular season
This past week the Silver and Black wrestling squad brought its regular season to an end with a home quad on Wednesday night and a duals tournament at Grafton on Saturday.
The quad pitted the Knights against Cameron, John Marshall reserves and St. Marys. The bare-bones home squad, its numbers cut even further by recent injuries, was only able to put six wrestlers on the mats.
Unable to make up the forfeits against three very respectable teams, the Knights fell to Cameron 57-21, John Marshall Res. 54 22, and St. Marys 50 21.
Nate Taylor was perfect on the night with a fall, a forfeit, and a 5-2 decision in a very tough match. Dustin Phillips and Nick Robinson went 2-1. Dustin had a fall and a 10-3 win while Nick recorded two falls. Cullen Grover wrestled just one match, winning by a lopsided score of 17 4. John Brosky and Zack Robinson were each awarded a forfeit.
It was senior night for the Knights, and the parents of Cullen Grover, Dustin Phillips, and Nick Robinson were honored along with their sons.
“This is as short handed as I can remember being since coming to Tyler Consolidated,” said veteran wrestling coach Larry Richie. “Putting six wrestlers on the mat is almost a certain loss, especially against teams such as we faced this evening, especially when three of those six are first year wrestlers.
“It would be easy for our boys to just blow it off and fall into a ‘what’s the use’ attitude under those circumstances. But such was not the case. Here is where the dual nature of wrestling, individual and team both, comes into play. In fact, one or two of our wrestlers looked better this evening than they have all year. That is a testimony to their determination to do well whatever the odds.”
The Knights traveled to Grafton on Saturday to take part in the Bearcat Duals Tournament. Brandon Grimes was back in the line-up at 160, and Cullen Grover returned on a limited-use basis at 215, and so the team was slightly larger than earlier in the week.
Still, forfeiting six weights out of 14 makes winning very difficult, and the Silver and Black ended up finishing seventh in a field of 10 schools. The Knights, wrestling in Pool I, lost to Grafton, Parkersburg South Res., and Bridgeport.
They were able to salvage one win in their pool, out pointing the X-Team 40-30. Going for seventh in the cross-pool round, the Knights fell behind Clay-Battelle by 18 points and needed three falls to catch up.
Nick Robinson, Brandon Grimes, and Cullen Grover supplied those falls, bringing the final score to 30-30. The result is then decided by criteria, which went in favor of the Silver and Black, enabling them to capture their second win of the day.
Leading the way for the Knights was Taylor who had a 5-0 day with two falls, a major decision, and two forfeits. Grover, in limited action, scored three falls to go 3-0. Phillips added a 14-0 decision to three forfeits to end up 4-1, while Robinson and Grimes each registered three falls in identical 3-2 records. John Brosky was also 3-2 as the result of three forfeits, and Zack Robinson scored a fall and a forfeit for this two wins against three losses. Nathan Bolin wrestled at 130, and showed improvement in his efforts, but was unable to come up with a win.
“We just didn’t have enough firepower to compete with the bigger squads, especially with our experience level,” Richie said. “We made an attempt to juggle some weights here and there, especially in the middle with Dustin, Nate, and Nick. I give credit to them for being willing to bump up to wrestle in a higher weight class for the good of the team.
“A couple times this strategy worked to our advantage. We beat a team that had 10 wrestlers against our eight, and should have beaten Bridgeport with their 10 (see Mat Chat for details). Clay Battelle had eight wrestlers as we did, and we were able to beat them, though it came right down to the wire.
“Over all it was a good tournament for us. We saw several teams we don’t see during the season, and some styles that we can learn from. Wrestling four or five matches a day is also a great conditioner. It was a good preparation for regional competition next week.”
The Knights will engage in Region I Championship competition this coming Saturday.
Tyler Consolidated is hosting the event this year in the Knights Wrestling Arena. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.