01/07/09 — Southern Wayne matmen show solid improvement in defeat

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Southern Wayne matmen show solid improvement in defeat

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 7, 2009 1:46 PM

DUDLEY -- No one can seem to derail Wilson Hunt's mojo on the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference dual-team wrestling scene this season.

Southern Wayne was the latest victim Tuesday evening.

The Warriors recorded seven pins to neatly put away the Saints 52-27 and clinch at least a share of the ECC regular-season championship -- the program's first since competing in the old Big Eight Conference in the 1990s.

"The match went about like I expected. Hunt has a lot of steady talent across the weight classes and don't let up anywhere," said Southern Wayne head coach Jonathan Jones. "We wrestled better, but we have to get to point where we have to understand we can't go to our back. That was the biggest difference.

"We gave up pins. They gave up points."

Hunt triumphed in eight of 12 contested matches and collected 42 points off pins. The teams traded forfeits, while Southern Wayne (6-9 overall, 0-2 ECC) notched just three pins and one technical fall.

Jones started five freshmen and two sophomores.

"This is the first time we've seen Hunt," said Jones. "I was actually happy with the improvement from my guys. A couple of guys made mistakes they knew better than to make."

Jones lauded the effort of five grapplers -- Derek Whitman, A.J. Covington, Jacob Richards, Dustin Richards and Hunter Brown.

Whitman, a first-year competitor, continues to improve and earned the Saints' first win of the night with a first-period pin of the Warriors' Gilbert Niez. Covington and Brown dropped outcomes to their respective opponents, while Jacob Richards escaped off his back to earn a second-period fall.

"Jacob is wrestling exceptionally well and is starting to learn how to control (the match) and not give up your back ... come through stuff," said Jones. "He's wrestled a lot stronger (recently). A.J. showed a lot of heart against an advanced, skilled guy. I knew if we were going to catch that kid (David High), it was going to be off the shot.

"If we went to the mat, that kid is really good on the mat. I rolled the dice to see what we could come up with."

Hunt dodged the Saints at 103 pounds, giving a forfeit to freshman Ryan Gross. Brown, a fellow 103-pounder, worked the Warriors' Jake Britt for three periods in a 13-5 loss in their 112-pound bout.

Senior 145-pounder Dustin Richards returned to the lineup after a shoulder injury sidelined him for a month. Richards scored a 15-0 technical fall against Johnnie Coleman.

"The doctor said he was safe to wrestle, but to take it easy," said Jones. "The last thing I wanted to see was a big, strong guy (wrestle Dustin), so when he got the technical fall that's why I jumped up and said 'he's got the points.'

"I wanted to get him off the mat."

Richards was recognized before the match along with fellow seniors Greg Taylor and Nick Evans. Taylor grabbed a second-period pin against Hunt's Ugo Okawaraogama, while the 119-pound Evans watched from the bench in street clothes.

Wilson Hunt 52

Southern Wayne 27

152 -- Cody Parris (H) wbf Minek Ford, 1:15; 160 -- Spencer Miller (H) wbf Dakota Toms, 2:52; 171 -- Robert Ladd (H) by forfeit; 189 -- Derek Whitman (SW) wbf Gilbert Niez, 1:47; 215 -- Kenny Hertling (H) wbf Anthony Grantham, 2:17; Hwt -- Greg Taylor (SW) wbf Ugo Okwaraogama, 3:07; 103 -- Ryan Gross (SW) by forfeit; 112 -- Jake Britt (H) maj. dec. Hunter Brown, 13-5; 119 -- Malex Hodges (H) wbf Matt Sparks, 2:43; 125 -- Spencer Rhem (H) wbf Miles Bradshaw, 3:36; 130 -- David High (H) wbf A.J. Covington, 3:02; 135 -- Jacob Richards (SW) wbf Bradley Williams, 3:33; 140 -- Chase Randall (H) wbf Ethan Brogden, 1:25; 145 -- Dustin Richards (SW) tech fall Johnnie Coleman, 15-0 (4:34).

Records: Wilson Hunt 7-10, 3-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference; Southern Wayne 6-9, 0-2

Next match: Saturday, Southern Wayne at Battle at Little Big Horn; Hunt at TDR Invitational