11/14/07 — Aggresive Warriors please Brown

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Aggresive Warriors please Brown

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 14, 2007 2:54 PM

Despite some uneasiness surrounding the Eastern Wayne wrestling team this winter, head coach Mike Brown seemed satisfied with Tuesday's season-opening, 57-24 rout of Triton.

The Warriors, as a team, collected seven pins and one decision in 11 contested bouts. Brown's charges recorded the initial takedown in seven of those individual matches.

"I really liked our aggressiveness," said Brown. "Every wrestler but one won by pin. That's something that we talk about and constantly work on during practice, so I was pleased with that."

Triton needed just 44 seconds to secure the first two matches. Heavyweight Ben Byerly and 103-pounder Kyle Tart each recorded an opening-period pin.

Eastern Wayne answered with four consecutive falls. Sophomore 112-pounder Drew Tesar stuck Chris Johnson in 30 seconds. Corbin Harris and Jordan Harris, wrestling at 119 and 125 pounds, respectively, each pinned their respective opponent.

Senior Chris Tesar, a three-time state qualifier, pinned the Hawks' Anthony Harrington with 10 seconds left in the first period. The Warriors' 24-12 advantage dwindled to 24-18 when Triton received a forfeit at 135 pounds, but they quickly regained control.

The Hawks forfeited to Zach Hahn (140 pounds) and A.J. Washington (145). Mike Pugh and Spring Creek transfer Hunter Newsome followed with back-to-back, first-period falls.

Brandon Darby pulled out a hardfought 11-4 decision at 171 pounds. Senior 215-pounder Foy Coley, a returning starter, posted a first-period pin to conclude Eastern Wayne's scoring.

Triton senior and team captain Chris Warren prevailed at 189.

The Hawks put five sophomores, one junior and six first-year wrestlers on the mat against Eastern Wayne.

"I'm proud of them and I thought everyone of them gave a good effort tonight," said first-year Triton coach Kenny Watkins, who wrestled two seasons at Campbell University. "They all did what I asked them to do on the mat. Each had their own thing to work on ... individual goals, sort of like building blocks for the season.

"You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run."

Brown expected to put a stronger team on the mat. However, preseason injuries, wrestlers moving and other issues have plagued the Warriors just two-plus weeks into the season.

Tyler Wicks (knee) and Jon Lagrone (shoulder) are sidelined. Wicks is awaiting MRI results, while Brown hopes to have Lagrone back in the lineup for the Falcon Invitational, which is Saturday at Charles B. Aycock.

Washington is the other returning state qualifier. Four first-year grapplers saw action against the Hawks.

"This is not quite the team I thought I was going to have this season," said Brown. "We have several question marks and some holes in the lineup. We still have a lot of uncertainty surrounding this team."

Eastern Wayne 57

Triton 24

Hwt -- Ben Byerly (T) wbf John Davenport, 24 seconds; 103 -- Kyle Tart (T) wbf Tyshon Jones, 0:20; 112 -- Drew Tesar (EW) wbf Chris Johnson, 0:30; 119 -- Corbin Harris (EW) wbf Zach Gustafson 0:16; 125 -- Jordan Harris (EW) wbf Lauren Mozingo, 0:25; 130 -- Chris Tesar (EW) wbf Anthony Harrington, 1:50; 135 -- Matthew Hayes (T) by forfeit; 140 -- Zach Hahn (EW) by forfeit; 145 -- A.J. Washington (EW) by forfeit; 152 -- Mike Pugh (EW) wbf Megan Burr, 0:30; 160 -- Hunter Newsome (EW) wbf Kirk Stewart, 0:17; 171 -- Brandon Darby (EW) dec. Curtis Bryant, 11-4; 189 -- Chris Warren (T) wbf Russell Smith, 0:20; 215 -- Foy Coley (EW) wbf Charlie Smith, 0:55.

Records: Eastern Wayne 1-0, Triton 0-1.