The Charger wrestling team kicked off Wednesday night’s dual with a 62-9 smackdown over St. Paul, followed by a 42-25 win over Ashland.
Six Edison wrestlers were able to capture wins in both matches. Those wrestlers were Jakey Neer (106 pounds), Ray Adams (120), Dylan Burns (126), Max Wolfe (138), Dalton Burns (160) and Sam Stoll, who wrestled at 195 and 220.
Edison coach Davy Hermes was especially proud of Dylan Burns, who weighed in at 120 and was bumped up to 126. Not only did Burns compete in on Wednesday, he was able to decision Ashland’s Matt Taylor — a former state-placer.
“That’s a good win for him. If there was a bright spot tonight, it was definitely him. He wanted to wrestle. He said ‘I’ll do what it takes.’ He went out there and got it done. He’s a tough kid.”
In what could be considered the ‘match of the night’ between Charger Alex Neuberger and Flyer Derek Gross, things really came down to the final seconds. Under the 145-pound weight class, Gross is ranked third in Division III, while Neuberger takes seventh.
With under 30 seconds remaining in the third period and holding on to a one point advantage, Gross was able to keep his cool and hold off Neuberger to claim a 4-3 decision.
“Derek knows he’s up and he almost plays that mental game,” St. Paul coach Casey Harrington said. “He goes to end of the match and almost sees past that if he has to go to overtime and he goes into the ‘stat mode’ is what I call it. He’s like ‘Hey if it really came to push to shove, I can take him down.’ So he kind of sits on that cushion. If he has a shot he takes a shot. Whenever he wants it, he can take it. It’s all up to him, it’s for the taking. It’s his senior year, if he wants the whole she-bang he can take it.”
Hermes weighed in on Neuberger’s effort.
“It was a great match. We knew going in what (Gross) does. I’m sure he knows what we do. It’s going to be who can get the takedown in the first period. But we were still in a position to win there with about 30 seconds to go. Gross is a tough kid. He’s going to be a potential state-finalist and we think Alex is right there with him. That’s a match I hope we’re going to see a couple more times. It’s a tough, tough district at 145. There’s seven out of the top 11 kids in state that are in our district. Alex has just got to keep getting better, but my hat is off to Gross, he’s a great wrestler.”
After their loss to Edison, the Flyers rebounded with a 56-6 victory against South Central, who had previously lost to Ashland, going 0-2 on the night.
Owen Starcher and Gross were the only two to get two wins on the night.
Against the Trojans, however, St. Paul was able to win seven matches by forfeit. At 152, John Dowdell won via pin. Sam Meyer (138) earned a 16-10 decision.
“There were a couple kids that wrestled pretty solid,” Harrington said. “We’re still making some mistakes, but they’re coachable mistakes. I want to say that we’re not pushing the limit. At this time of the season, we should be close to peaking. I should be able to see them at a full six minutes, non-stop. You should be able to come in the gym as a spectator and say ‘Are they wrestling in the first period or third period? Because I can’t tell.’ We can’t be wrestling the same way we were at the beginning of the year.”
South Central’s lone win came when Dakota Blanton’s won by forfeit.
The main problem for the Trojans is their numbers — or lack thereof.
Coach Ken Johnson was only able to put out four grapplers on Wednesday.
“We’re a little banged up and we’re young,” Johnson said. “My 126-pounder today, Blanton, he’s sick today. I don’t like to say that, but he is. He wrestled the Ashland kid well, especially for being under the weather. We’ve just got to work on some stuff and get a fire burning in their bellies. But overall, they always give it all they’ve got every time they’re out there.
“At this point in the season, we’ve got to take a good look at this and see where we can improve. We’ve got to get healthy. There’s a few guys sitting out and I’m not sure if they’ll make it back in this year or not. I’m hoping they do because they’re upperclassmen and were doing well. With them back in the room, it adds that little extra dimension and helps these guys continue to get better.”