Prior to the holidays most area varsity wrestling teams were traveling the state in search of the best competition it could find.
Now that the New Year has finally arrived, the time has come for league competitions and dual meets to take center stage. This included Centralia hosting North Callaway and Rock Bridge on Tuesday for a non-conference tri-meet. At first glance that might appear like a chance for each team to earn itself a victory against some fellow homegrown talent
But, with the Thunderbirds sporting less than half a roster, the Panthers boasting an almost full lineup and the Bruins landing somewhere in between, each of these programs arrived at this event in very different states looking for very different results.
The first dual of the evening featured North Callaway against Rock Bridge, and after both squads took voids at the lower weight classes, the Thunderbird’s Jadon Henry won by pin at 138 in 2:34 against Marquis McCaster and the Bruin’s Grant Williamson won in 3:02.3 at 145 over Chet Cunningham. That gave Rock Bridge a 24-12 lead that James Haubner cut to 24-15 with a victory by decision against Zach Tran using some classic techniques, only to see both teams chart five voids between them.
With the Bruins now leading 36-27, Jordan Delashmutt stepped up from 220 to grapple at heavyweight for North Calllaway and dominated the first round. The problem was at the start of the second he was down and looking to get out of the grasp of Will Bower, who made one final attempt to keep hold of his opponent by reaching out for his ankle just five minutes into the second period. What followed was a clock stoppage for an injury that Delashmutt eventually got up from, but never fully recovered.
The Thunderbird junior then spent the rest of the second and all of the third period in obvious pain and doing his best not to put weight on that ankle unless he had to. In the end he did win the match for his team to cut Rick Bridges victory to 36-30, but he was unable to compete for the rest of the night.
The next dual was a 63-6 victory for Centralia over North Callaway that also began with several forfeits until the Panther’s AJ Hombs won by pin at 120 over Braeden Garner and the Thunderbird’s charted their only victory when Henry won by fall at 138 in 3:12.2 against Carson Sanders.
Next up for Centralia at 145 was a win by decision for Anthony Stevens over Cunningham, at 152 Grafton Litrell downed the Thunderbird’s Haubner in :23.0 and at 170 Lakota Phillips earned a decision against North Callaway’s Maupin. The Panther’s Quentin Foster at 182 won by decision, as well, against Mason Garner, and because Delashmutt was injured for the Thunderbird’s, the rest of Centralia’s wins were by void.
In the final matchup of the night the Bruins lost 66-18 in a dual highlighted by Phillips of the Panthers at 170 pinning Andrew King in 2:36, Stevens won in 2:54 over Rock Bridge’s Williamson at 145 and Centralia’s Sanders stuck McCaster in 19.9 at 138. Duke Newsted also got in on the good times at 138 for the Panthers by coming out on top in :23.6 against Derek Lopez, Hombs bested the Bruins’ Evan Diehls in 3:25.5 at 120 and Nicky O’Toole was victorious at 106 for Centralia in :42.2.