Prep wrestling -- EW wins ECC match
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 17, 2004 1:56 PM
While the team captains shook hands and waited for the coin toss, Washington wrestling coach Rick Garrett asked a simple request from Eastern Wayne coach Mike Brown -- "be gentle with us big guy."
Garrett laughed and Brown smiled. But each coach quickly lost those expressions once they returned to their respective benches. Each experienced a little anguish and surprise during the 57-minute battle, won 42-34 by the Warriors.
Eastern Wayne (4-1) remained unbeaten in two Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference outings. Meanwhile, Washington (1-3) dipped to 0-3 in the league with all three defeats occurring against Wayne County schools.
"They beat us by 50 points last year, so I don't know how he'd thought it would be a cakewalk for us this time," Brown said. "I knew it was going to be close. I had sat down and figured it out ... a possible seven-seven match with whoever getting the most pins winning."
The teams had originally scheduled the match for Monday. Brown's team met Sunday afternoon for a light workout, including a run at Seymour Johnson. When Washington called early Monday to move the match, that threw off the Warriors' mentality.
Brown's squad missed practice time Monday and Tuesday due to semester exams. The Warriors had a one-hour practice Wednesday.
"I wasn't sure what would happen," Brown said. "They did what they needed to do."
One strategy paid off early for the Warriors.
Brown had moved Eric Stover from heavyweight to 215 and the senior, a first-year wrestler, responded with a second-period pin. Stover put the Pam Pack's Landon Osinupide on his back twice before earning the fall at the 3-minute, 45-second mark.
"When Stover went out and pinned his kid, I thought we might be okay," Brown said. "He's showing some senior leadership."
The Warriors received a forfeit at 103 and the Pam Pack answered with four consecutive wins. The visitors collected the initial takedown in three matches they won by fall and picked up a forfeit to move ahead 24-12.
Eastern Wayne survived a nail-biter at 135.
Freshman Chris Martin dominated the first two periods against Brad Bouquio and held a 10-4 lead. Bouquio escaped to start the third period, took Martin to the mat and turned him on his back with than a minute to go.
Tied at 10-10, Martin finally gained a match-clinching escape point with 27 seconds on the clock.
"He looked like he just died, so I'm going to have to work on his conditioning for a little bit," Brown said of Martin, a transfer from Oklahoma. "We've got to get him in a little bit better shape.
"He seemed to get tired in that last period."
Martin's tight victory ignited an 18-0 run for the Warriors.
Junior Joey Burridge edged Rodney Putney 6-4 at 140 pounds. After a forfeit to sophomore 145-pounder Timmy Brown, sophomore Brian Lincoln pinned Taylor Matthews in 1:27.
"Brian has changed completely since the (Pierce-Davis) tournament when he lost to (John) Fulcher," Brown said. "He is wrestling much more aggressive on the mat than in the past."
Washington climbed within 32-28 after Shawn Cutler's major decision against the Warriors' Tyler Wicks at 160.
Eastern Wayne's veterans, state qualifiers Travis Turner (171) and David Brown (189), sealed the deal with back-to-back pins. Brown forfeited the 215-pound match to Gerald Lawrence, the reigning ECC champion and a returning state qualifier at that weight.
The Warriors, who have already surpassed last season's win total, return to the mat Saturday morning at Princeton. Brown's team will enjoy a two-day break before heading to Rosewood for a tri-match Tuesday with the Eagles and Eastern Plains 2-A member Tarboro High.
Eastern Wayne 42
Hwt -- Eric Stover (EW) wbf Landon Osunipide, 3:45; 103 -- Chris Tesar (EW) by forfeit; 112 -- Ferman Martinez (W) wbf Keith Broadie, 2:12; 119 -- John Barnes (W) by forfeit; 125 -- Shawn Ward (W) wbf Josh Stevens, 2:57; 130 -- Keith Harper (W) wbf Shawn Leftdridge, 1:30; 135 -- Chris Martin (EW) dec. Brad Bouquio, 11-10; 140 -- Joey Burridge (EW) dec. Rodney Putney, 6-4; 145 -- Timmy Brown (EW) by forfeit; 152 -- Brian Lincoln (EW) wbf Taylor Matthews, 1:27; 160 -- Shawn Cutler (W) maj. dec. Tyler Wicks, 12-4; 171 -- Travis Turner (EW) wbf Robert Harper, 0:41; 189 -- David Brown (EW) wbf Cody Cunningham, 2:47; 215 -- Gerald Lawrence (W) by forfeit.
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