By John Bombatch
RIVERSIDE — The host Carroll Patriots defeated Carlisle in one dual match, but lost to New Lebanon Dixie in another, Wednesday night at the Carroll Double-Duals high school wrestling event.
With his numbers down from last season, Carroll wrestling coach Jason Ashworth likened the dual match wrestler selection process to a chess game.
“You have the odd-even teams going at each other and you’re sometimes bumping guys up or down a weight class, it really is like a chess game. And I knew that Dixie’s coach (veteran Doug Campbell) goes about setting his lineup the same way. I really like that, where sometimes you don’t show who you have wrestling until they check in at the scorer’s table. It’s really fun,” Ashworth said.
In the 2013 and 2014 wrestling seasons, Ashworth said he had 30 wrestlers on the Patriots team. With there being 14 weight classes to fill, having that many wrestlers on the team helped create some competition within the ranks. But those numbers are slowly falling.
Last season, Carroll had 17 wrestlers on the team.
This season, Ashworth has 15 wrestlers who naturally fit into 12 of the weight classes. Having two 106-pounders, and two at 152, gives Ashworth some wiggle room when he tries to strategize against another team in a dual meet.
Against Dixie, the Patriots recorded forfeit wins by Sam Speyrer (195 pounds), Paul Miller III (220), and Mervin Quach (down from 132-pounds and wrestling at 126), and Brian Zink earned a forfeit win at 152 pounds.
Dixie earned forfeit wins at 113, 120 and 138 pounds.
In contested matches with the Greyhounds, Stephen Miller pinned his Dixie opponent at 182 pounds, 2015 state qualifier Nick Berry won by first-round pin at 132.
Blake Coy (170) and Jesse Younce (152) both lost their matches by decision, and Dixie won the opening dual, 43-36.
In the second match against Carlisle, Berry, who weighed in at 124.3 pounds) recorded another first-round pin to win, this time at 126 pounds.
In probably the best battle of the evening, Carlisle’s Braden Rauch decisioned Younce at 152 pounds 11-9. Rauch was awarded one point on a technical violation, then pulled off an escape move to break a 9-all tie in the final minute. Younce had attempted a right-leg grab with about 30 seconds to go, but ran out of time to earn any potential match tying takedown points.
Carroll bested Carlisle, 44-27, to take the second match of the evening. Dixie wrestled Dayton Christian in the other nightcap. Dayton Christian had defeated Carlisle by a 38-10 count in its first dual of the evening.
“We’re straight-up young this year. We’ve got three seniors, one junior and the rest of the nine are freshmen,” Ashworth said. “Dixie is a very good team, and they will make you pay if you get out of position. I think that’s how they won against us today. I thought we wrestled pretty well, but we can always get better.”
Carroll returns to mat action Sunday and Monday at the Medina Holiday Tournament.
John Bombatch can be reached at: (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.