CONNORVILLE - Make strides.
That was the goal of Harrison Central's Bill Bryant and Buckeye Local's Guy Nestor on Wednesday night when the two schools met in an early-season Buckeye 8 wrestling dual at Buckeye Local High School.
Both head coaches got their wish. But when the dust settled, the Huskies emerged a 60-12 victor after earning pins in all six of their victories in which a match was contested.
Harrison Central’s Kyle Dodds gains control of Buckeye Local’s David Anderson during their 145-pound match Wednesday night at Buckeye Local High School. The Huskies prevailed in the Buckeye 8 dual, 60-12.
''The most important thing was getting better after our last dual meet against Claymont,'' Bryant said.
That was nearly two weeks ago. Despite the layoff, Bryant was pleased with how his club competed despite a rash of injuries.
''We're banged up,'' he said. ''But we went out and listened to the coaches and did what we needed to do to get the victory.
Harrison Central 60, Buckeye Local 12
138: Risley (H) p. Callarik, 1:39; 145: Dodds (H) p. Anderson, 1:44; 152: Riedel (H) p. Binkiewicz, :28; 160: Morrow (B) d. Erio, 7-6; 170: Boyer (H) won by forfeit; 182: Jones (B) d. Howes, 10-8; 195: Williams (H) won by forfeit; 220: Fogle (H) p. M.Miller, 1:53; 285: Stull (H) won by forfeit; 106: J.Miller (B) won by forfeit; 113: double forfeit; 120: White (H) won by forfeit; 126: Forrester (H) p. Mason, 1:39; 132: Pizzino (H) p. Hillard, 1:37.
''We only lost two matches and we were in both of those. So, yes, I think we made some strides.''
Completing falls for Harrison Central were Antony Risley (138 pounds), Kyle Dodds (145), Cyle Riedel (152), Westin Fogle (220), David Forrester (126) and Hunter Pizzino (132). The remainder of the Huskies' points came via forfeit.
''I was impressed with our poise,'' said Bryant, whose squad will compete at next week's America's Best Value Inn Tournament at St. Clairsville High School. ''None of the kids panicked and they stayed in good position all night.''
Despite falling to the Panthers' Ryan Morrow, 7-6, at the buzzer, Bryant was impressed with 160-pounder Joao Erio, an exchange student from Brazil.
''He wrestled a very solid wrestler and I thought he handled himself very well,'' Bryant said. ''He didn't panic and he has a lot to build on.''
Morrow's triumph was one of two victories for Buckeye Local. The other came when Tristan Jones edged Cole Howes, 10-8, in the 182-pound bout.
''He wrestled sick,'' Nestor said of Jones. ''He went out and did well.''
The Panthers, too, have been battling the injury bug. Inexperience is also a concern.
''The main thing (at this point) is getting the younger guys - first- and second-year guys - time on the mat,'' Nestor said. ''We have some kids banged up, but they'll be back for the (Wheeling Park Duals) next week.
''We'll wrestle Point Pleasant and Parkersburg (at the Park Duals), so we're in a tough pool. But, it's exposure. Because, what I'm ultimately trying to accomplish here by going to the North Coast Tournament and wrestling these teams, is getting my guys experience.
''I tried to push the start of our season back a bit so when we peak it will be around the OVACs''