Too many forfeits for Warriors
WAYLAND — Even when they win all of their matches — as they did against West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville last night — the WACO wrestlers don’t expect to win duals.
With more weight classes open than filled, it’s a nearly impossible task.
“It makes it tough,” Coach Justin Chambers said. “We’ve talked with the kids about that quite a bit — as a team, we’re not going to win a lot of duals, we’re just not.”
The Warriors have eight wrestlers covering six weight classes — that leaves eight open spots, which translates to as many as 48 points going to their opponents in forfeits.
And 48 points is exactly the number that West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville had to defeat WACO on Thursday night, 48-36.
“There might be some teams that are open like we are, and if we match up well, we could pick up a win or two,” Chambers noted.
But that wasn’t the case when the Warriors hosted their dual season-opening meet last night — they also lost to Louisa-Muscatine, 51-11.
L&M defeated West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville as well, taking that dual by a score of 58-20.
Instead of the team score, WACO’s focus is on each individual wrestler’s improvement.
“Each individual is different, but we look for the small victories, whether that’s winning a match, winning the takedown battle, or — against a really good kid — just fighting for six minutes,” Chambers said.
Against West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville, the Warriors won all six of their matches by fall.
“I’m proud of the team,” Chambers said. “They went out and took care of their business. If we do that every time, by the end of the year, we’ll be doing some good stuff.”
Dylon Evans (145) was up first for WACO in the dual, pinning Tim Williams in 1:40.
“Dylon Evans saw some tough kids at Pekin (in last weekend’s tournament), and tonight he went out and got the win, got to see all his hard work pay off,” Chambers said.
Evans was followed by Kevin Anderson (160), who pinned Brock Dowell in 1:15, and Cey Saeugling (170) pinned Daymen Wagner in 1:12.
Tommy Morris (195) then won by fall against Tyler McElderry in 1:39, followed by Skyler Miller (220), who pinned Sam Banks in 3:29.
Josh Shumaker wrapped up WACO scoring by winning the heavyweight match against Caleb Nevers in 44 seconds, the fastest WACO pin of the night.
“For Josh Shumaker, it’s his first year at the high school level, so he’s kind of like a deer in headlights,” Chambers said. “But he went out, competed well in his style, and got the pin.”
Against L&M, things didn’t go quite as well, but Chambers wasn’t too disappointed.
“They have a pretty good program; our kids fought really hard,” he said.
Evans won by technical fall against Ian Barnhart, 15-0, and Anderson won a 6-4 decision against Drake Eserhaut.
“Kevin Anderson was wrestling in his style, and that was good to see,” Chambers remarked.
Saeugling lost by fall to Dalton Wheeler, but Tommy Morris won his sudden-victory overtime period with a takedown to come out on top of an 8-6 decision against Colby Wheeler.
That was the last win of the night for WACO, as Shumaker and Miller fell in their matches. Shumaker was pinned by Marcel Conner, and Miller lost a 7-3 decision to Travis Simmons — but even that, to Chambers, was a small victory.
“Last year, that kid pinned (Skyler Miller) pretty easily; this time, Miller wrestled well and it looked like he would win for a while — he just got caught at the end. But he still fought off his back for a minute and a half and refused to get pinned.”
WACO starts the season with a dual record of 0-2, but for WACO this year, the season record won’t matter.
“(Each dual) is a stepping stone for where we want to get at the end of the season,” Chambers said.
The Warriors will wrestle again at the Tri-County Tournament in Thornburg on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.