Rochester wrestling routs Northwestern in final prep before team state
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester wrestling team won six matches by fall and five by forfeit in cruising to a 69-6 win over visiting Northwestern in a dual meet at the RHS gym Tuesday.
All six wins by fall occurred in the first period, including Ethan Holloway (120) and every weight class from 160 to 220 as Gavin McKee, Eli Swango, Wesley Meadows, Alex Deming and Brady Beck won in a succession of beatdowns. Eli Swango needed just 42 seconds to stick Alec Fourez.
Cooper Winn (106), Aaron Swango (126), Joey Spencer (132), Greyson Gard (152) and Marshall Fishback (HWT) all won by forfeit.
But perhaps the most impressive Rochester win came from sophomore D.J. Basham (138) who gave up first takedown to Northwestern senior Silas Phillips but came back to win 8-4.
“Since we’ve been wrestling Northwestern, he’s been in their lineup, so he’s got experience, way more experience than D.J.,” Rochester coach Clint Gard said of Phillips. “My number one hope is that he realizes, ‘Hey, I can wrestle with some of these kids.’ I hope he realizes, ‘I’m an athlete, and when I get after it a little bit, I can wrestle these guys with more experience.’”
Rochester wrestled without Wyatt Davis, Mitchell Shafer and Kaleb Shaffer. Davis, a freshman who placed at third at the North Montgomery Invitational last week, was held out due to weight management reasons, according to coach Clint Gard.
Shafer was “on vacation,” and Shaffer was held out as he nurses a back injury from North Montgomery, according to coach Gard.
Gard said that Davis, Shafer and Shaffer are all expected back for the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Class 1A team state duals at Martinsville High School Saturday. Rochester is currently ranked No. 4 in Class 1A.
The series of falls might indicate that Rochester as a team is improving from the top position.
“I think we’re pretty good riders,” coach Gard said. “We had practice today before the meet. We’ve been working hard on some things on top to give the kids some more options. We’re very good at riding. We’re very good at managing the position. I would just like to see us get a little bit more confident in our turns and our pinning combinations. We’re kind of coming around to that.”
By being ranked in the top four, the Zebras earned a bye in the 12-team Class 1A tournament. They will face the winner of the Cascade-Daleville dual in the quarterfinals.
Though the IHSAA does not recognize multiple classes for its state tournament that begins on Jan. 29, the IHSWCA acknowledges four separate classes based on enrollment.
A matchup with top-ranked Prairie Heights is a possibility in the semifinals.
Gard has made clear to the wrestlers the meaning of the team state duals.
“We’ve got team state coming on Saturday,” coach Gard said. “Our focus is on that. … We’re going with the intent that we’re going to win it. We are not happy to be there at all. Our whole focus is turning to winning team state. We have the team that can do it. …
“We have every intention of winning a state title on Saturday. We have the team to do it. We have the firepower to do it. If we go down there with any other intention, I’m doing these kids and this community a disservice.”
Rochester 69, Northwestern 6
106 – Cooper Winn (RHS) wins by forfeit.
113 – double forfeit
120 – Ethan Holloway (RHS) def. Isaac Bumgardner (NW), fall, 1:38
126 – Aaron Swango (RHS) won by forfeit.
132 – Joey Spencer (RHS) won by forfeit.
138 – D.J. Basham (RHS) def. Silas Phillips (NW), 8-4
145 – Jansen Slate (NW) def. Braydn Furnivall (RHS), fall, 3:56
152 – Greyson Gard (RHS) won by forfeit.
160 – Gavin McKee (RHS) def. Samuel Craig (NW), fall, 1:56
170 – Eli Swango (RHS) def. Alec Fourez (NW), fall, 0:42
182 – Wesley Meadows (RHS) def. Shawn Reese (NW), fall, 1:05
195 – Alex Deming (RHS) def. Jarrett Centers-Elpers (NW), fall, 0:52
220 – Brady Beck (RHS) def. Michael Van Osdell (NW), fall, 0:35
HWT – Marshall Fishback (RHS) won by forfeit.
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