The Granite Bears trounced Magna Vista and lost by just two points to Rural Retreat, Va., in a wrestling tri-match.
Mount Airy won 11 of 14 weights against Magna Vista, but let a lead slip away in the other match.
Over the weekend, the Bears went 5-4 against heavy competition in the Mount Tabor Super Duals. The team that showed up that day had plenty of energy and heart, noted Coach Steve Braune.
The Bears that started the night against Rural Retreat didn’t live up to that performance, Braune said.
The Indians made too many pins, according to the coach. Guys didn’t fight hard enough to get back over on their bellies.
The Bears split the 14 weight classes 7-7, but the Indians got all seven wins by pin for 42 points. The Bears put up four pins, two forfeits earned and one major decision, which adds up to 40 points.
Just like the Reagan match, Mount Airy built a lead, then let it slip away by giving up their backs, said Braune.
If just one of those seven losses had been by a minor decision, then the Bears would have won, he pointed out.
The Bears had two changes in the starting lineup as boys won wrestle-offs on Monday.
Triston Mabry, who led the Bears in wins last year with 34 in the regular season, has been in and out of the lineup after going up two weight classes since last year.
Mabry wrestled at 132, and Shay Wilson won 33 matches at 126. However, the growing sophomores both showed up in the fall at 145 lbs.
Mabry started the season as the starter, but Wilson (12-5) soon won out. So this week, Mabry beat out the 152-pounder, Andrew Moore (9-3), for a spot.
The other change came at 132 where sophomore co-captain Jamie Smith was beaten out by freshman Kenyon Smith.
Mount Airy has a packed squad with about 30 wrestlers now. Having so many guys is a good problem to have, noted Braune.
Two years ago, the Bears had only seven wrestlers in six weight classes and gave up so many forfeits that they lost every match.
Kenyon and Jamie going against each other in practice is going to make both guys much better, the coach said. A few weight classes have three wrestlers vying for mat time, so obviously some guys are going to be frustrated that they aren’t starting, but the team will be much better in the long run.
The idea is to get 14 young men ready to qualify for the state tournament, he explained.
As for the new starters, they picked four falls and 24 team points.
Kenyon Smith pinned both opponents in less than a minute. He stuck Hunter Ward, Rural Retreat, in 42 seconds. Then he pinned Jaquavis Mitchell, Magna Vista, in 51 seconds.
Mabry pinned the Indians’ Seth Beckett in 26 seconds, then pinned Austin Nelson in 2:57.
Others picking up wins against Rural Retreat were Wilson, Dallas Smith and Mason Timmerman. Tyler Duty (126) earned a forfeit, as did Landon Mumford at 170.
Wilson (145) earned a major decision over Leighton Powell 11-3. Braune said the match was one-sided, but Shay just couldn’t finish Powell off. That meant four team points instead of six.
Smith (160) pinned Charles Wilson in the second period.
Timmerman pinned Tyler Woodward in just 53 seconds. That put the Bears up 40-30 with two matches left.
Unfortunately, both wrestlers were pinned for 12 team points.
“That’s the importance of not being pinned,” said Braune. “It kills you, it absolutely kills you.”
The Bears then had a chance to rest as Rural Retreat beat Magna Vista.
Then Mount Airy took the mat and won 66-12 over Magna Vista.
Daniel Sechrist (113) and Austin Branch (182) earned forfeits, and nine others pinned their opponents.
In addition to Kenyon Smith and Mabry, Alex Howard (106) pinned the Warriors’ Keeley Holloway in the third period. Cameron Pack (138) pinned Kevin Monahan in the second period.
Smith (160) pinned Andrew Abbott in one minute. Mumford (170) pinned Cole Watson in just under a minute.
At 195 lbs., Kolte Poore was starting despite only being a 182-pound wrestler, Braune said.
The Warriors’ Blake Hankins is very strong and next to Poore, the bigger wrestler looked like an absolute monster, the coach described.
The freshman Hankins was pushing Kolte around for a while, but late in the second period, the Bears made an escape and immediately took Hankins down and pinned him.
“It was awesome,” Braune said with pride.
At 220, Timmerman pinned Abrian Pena in the second period. He is on a nine-match winning streak despite wearing a harness to protect an ailing left shoulder from football season.
Then heavyweight Brian Bennett got a second-period fall on Adam Jones.
The Bears only lost three matches.
Wilson went against Corbin Manley, one of the Warriors’ best, and lost a minor decision 4-1.
McMillian lost a minor decision 7-5 to Claude Morris at 120.
Duty was dominating his match at 126 with Isaiah Clark. In the second period, however, Clark reversed Duty and got a pin, the only fall the Bears gave up in the second match.
The Bears traveled to Thomasville on Wednesday for a tri-match with the Bulldogs and North Moore, but those results were not available at press time.