11/13/08 — Warriors top Dawgs in wrestling opener

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Warriors top Dawgs in wrestling opener

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 13, 2008 1:46 PM

Steady improvement is the philosophy veteran Eastern Wayne wrestling coach Mike Brown and Princeton assistant coach Matt Rast have developed this season.

Youth definitely abounds in each program.

The Warriors return just three starters off last year's dual-team playoff qualifying team. The Dawgs have three four-year starters in the lineup and unseasoned competitors everywhere else.

And each coach heaped praise on his respective team Wednesday evening.

Although the teams battled to a 4-4 split in actual contested matches, Eastern Wayne received more forfeits in a 48-33 season-opening win.

"I was pleased with the way the kids went out and did some of the things we've been working on (in practice)," said Brown. "We've still got to work on our conditioning. For two young teams going at it, I think our boys did the fundamentals (well)."

Seven first-year grapplers suited up for the Warriors. Freshman 112-pounder Roderick Ayers earned his first-ever varsity pin with a 3-minute, 6-second decision over Princeton freshman Matt Evans. Fellow freshman Austin Helm (119) claimed a second-period fall over the Dawgs' Drew Malarchik.

Returners Corbin Harris (130) and Cody Britt (160) also emerged victorious. Harris recorded the night's fastest pin, a 29-second stick against Princeton sophomore David Waddell.

"We're real young ... two weeks deep (into practice)," said Rast. "I am tickled to death, couldn't be happier with the way they wrestled. We had a couple of matches that could have went either way.

"We've just been drilling on the basic stuff that we know already."

The Dawgs owned a 15-6 advantage after four matches had concluded. Senior Zach Stevens (171) and senior Matt Branham (189) each pinned their respective opponents. Senior Willie Sheffield outlasted the Warriors' Logan Wicks 6-3 after getting turned on his back in the second period.

Junior 135-pounder Justin Collier grabbed Princeton's other win, a second-period fall over Warrior freshman Monroe Simmons.

"I could see them doing exactly what we asked them do (in practice) tonight," said Rast. "That's a promising sign when you see that. I was real pleased with how Evans wrestled tonight. He just caught, but after two weeks, I can see he's got a niche for it."

Eastern Wayne (1-0 overall) takes a week off before traveling to J.H. Rose on Nov. 19. Princeton (0-1) returns to action Saturday in the Johnston County Invitational, which will be contested at West Johnston High School. First-round matches begin at 9 a.m.

Eastern Wayne 48

Princeton 33

160 -- Cody Britt (EW) inj. def. Josh Best; 171 -- Zach Stevens (P) wbf Mike Pugh, 1:25; 189 -- Matt Branham (P) wbf Cameron Herring, 4:20; 215 -- Willie Sheffield (P) dec. Logan Wicks, 6-3; Hwt -- Blake Terrell (EW) by forfeit; 103 -- Tyler Wallace (EW) by forfeit; 112 -- Roderick Ayers (EW) wbf Matt Evans, 3:06; 119 -- Josh Hahn (EW) by forfeit; 125 -- Austin Helm (EW) wbf Drew Malarchik, 2:30; 130 -- Corbin Harris (EW) wbf David Waddell, 0:29; 135 -- Justin Collier (P) wbf Monroe Simmons, 2:58; 140 -- Jake Bizzell (P) by forfeit; 145 -- Zach Hahn (EW) by forfeit; 152 -- Patrick Woodard (P) by forfeit.

Records: Eastern Wayne 1-0, Princeton 0-1