CLAYTON — Northmont pinned a 44-22 loss on the Wayne varsity wrestling team Thursday night at the ‘Thunderdome’ in the athletics wing at the new high school.
If not for lack of personnel in a few weight classes the Warriors could have made the final score much closer. Both schools entered the match with only one loss so far this season.
“We had to move our lineup around a little bit because we have a couple kids that have been sick,” said Wayne Coach Randy Bitsko. “We were missing Zarik Brown (160 pounds) tonight being able to wrestle and I think that would have been a good swing and would have also gotten us a forfeit at 152.”
Without Brown available the Warriors had to move Jordan Hardrick up from the 152 pound match to 160 where Hardrick scored a 12-2 major decision over the Thunderbolts’ Solomon Miller. Both teams had to forfeit at 152 resulting in neither team earning points.
“That right there would have given us a point swing,” Bitsko noted. “We would have won the 170 match with Zarik out there because he has beaten their kid solid before and then we would have gotten a forfeit at 152, so that would have swung 12 points our way. We still would have lost, but I think you were there for our premier, and we are wrestling a lot better now than we did at the premier. That’s what we are looking at; we are looking at progress, and I keep challenging the kids to keep turning it up each week. I think tonight they did. They stepped up to the challenge.”
Bitsko pointed out that his team lost matches to Northmont in weight classes that it had previously won.
“Like I said, we were a little bit weak in our lineup but at the same time the kids that did compete were fabulous,” Bitsko added. “I am very happy with the way we wrestled. I wish a few other matches would have gone our way, especially Justin Kissee at 170. He is a JV wrestler out there for the first time and he lost the match in the last couple seconds, but still… he got pinned in the first 20 seconds in the premier so we are making progress. I just want everybody to know on the team and in the community that the Wayne wrestling team is making forward progress and it’s going to be very exciting the next couple of weeks and in the next few years.”
Tyler Wilcox, who normally wrestles in the 220 pound weight class, dropped down to 195 and got the Warriors off to a solid start by battling Dylan Moran to a scoreless deadlock after three rounds. In overtime Wilcox scored a takedown to win the match 2-0.
Tyler Haworth moved up from the 195 pound weight class to 220 where he scored a 5-3 decision over Northmont’s Chuck Saul.
The Thunderbolts secured their first victory of the night in the heavyweight match where David Henson won by a fall in 1:07 vs Desean Barnes to tie the match 6-6.
Wayne forfeitures at 106 and 113 boosted Northmont’s lead to 18-6.
Chad Craft won by a fall in 46 seconds against Mason King in the 120 pound match and Chase Craft also won by a fall in 2:25 against Cole Clyne to increase the lead to 30-6 and a Wayne forfeit at 132 made it 36-6.
Wayne finally put some points on the board in the 138 pound match where Keyan Jumper won by a fall in 28 seconds against Ezra Smith. A Northmont forfeit at 145 and a double forfeit at 152 made it 36-18.
Hardrick scored a 12-2 major decision over Northmont’s Solomon Miller in the 160 pound match to cut the Thunderbolts’ lead to 36-22.
Kyle Roberts scored a 1-0 decision over Justin Kissee at 170 and Gabe Newburg scored a 20-5 technical fall over Jared Kleff in the 182 pound match to make the final tally 44-22 in favor of Northmont.
“After last week when we came out really flat against Edgewood, we worked all week long at getting prepared mentally,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “I think we have a lot of young kids that just came out of junior high who are used to their season being over by now, so we had to stress to them that we have another solid six weeks left. It takes a lot of effort to kind of push yourself past that stopping point that they have been used to the last couple of years and to be prepared to push hard for another six weeks. We are struggling with that right now.”
Newburg pointed out that his team came out of the gate fast and strong and now appears to be losing some momentum.
“The kids have been slowing down a little bit and right now we’ve got to pick it back up if we are going to continue to have success,” Newburg added. “We wrestled better tonight. We moved a couple of kids around in weight classes with forfeits, so we had kids wrestling out of their weight class, but overall with the exception of a couple matches that we gassed out a little bit, I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Northmont will celebrate ‘Senior Night’ when it hosts Lakota East on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.