12/10/09 — So. Nash pins C.B. Aycock

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So. Nash pins C.B. Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 10, 2009 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The growing pains continue.

Injury-riddled and youth-ladened Charles B. Aycock depended on six first-year starters, including five freshmen, to battle against perennial power Southern Nash on Wednesday evening.

It was a tall order for the Golden Falcons.

The Firebirds shook off a slow start, captured four of the final five individual bouts and seized a 43-25, non-conference victory. Southern Nash claimed its first win against Aycock since 2000 and just the second overall in 12 dual meetings.

"What can I say?" said Golden Falcons head coach Mark Peck. "We're young and we're going to work a little harder because this is not Aycock (standards). (We're) not where we want to be.

"That's a good Southern Nash team ... always a decent group."

The Golden Falcons (4-3 overall) started the non-conference affair with Jon Rudolph's second-period fall over Drew Wheeler at 215 pounds. Heavyweight Jarrod James and David Romo each drew a forfeit to give Aycock an early 18-6 advantage.

The Firebirds (6-2) answered with a match-tying 16-4 run. Buddy Tom (125 pounds) earned a 9-3 decision over the Golden Falcons' Daniel Romo, while teammates Vishal Patel (119), Devon Patel (135) and Drew Coley (140) each claimed an individual win.

Tied 2-2 after two periods, Coley escaped Aaron Pate's grasp and squeezed out a 3-2 win.

"That was the turning point," said Firebirds coach Eddie Coble, who returns 12 starters off last year's team. "If they win, it gives them a little momentum going into the next match. Instead, we won and got momentum going into 152 and 160."

Southern Nash's grapplers controlled the tempo, wrestled off their backs well and outscored Aycock 21-3 the rest of the way. Before the match-clinching surge, the Golden Falcons' Preston Tucker (130) logged a major decision. Teammate Khaleil Owens (152) dominated the third period in a three-point decision over Southern's Ken Mitchell.

"We fought," said Coble. "I've been teaching these guys that if you're going to wrestle, you've got to fight. If you don't fight, you're not ever going to win. We're starting to turn the corner a little bit, fight a little more and not give up on things so easily."

The Firebirds won eight of 12 contested matches and scored the initial takedown in six bouts.

"That comes from strength and experience," said Peck of Southern's ability to dictate the matches. "Some of our kids have only been on the mat for three or four weeks, and that's something we have to learn when it comes to getting up from the bottom. We know we're weak there, don't have a lot of strength with our kids.

"We have to rely on finesse and technique because we don't have bulky, muscle (kids)."

Aycock returns to action Saturday in the 14th Eagle Invitational at Rosewood. First-round matches begin approximately 9:15 a.m. and admission is $7.