This group of seniors represent everything coach Brandon Terry wants for the program.
Augusta's wrestling team honored those seniors Thursday night at the Orioles' final home dual of the season against Wellington. Most of the seniors went out with a bang in a 45-12 win, which improves Augusta's record to 13-1 on the season.
"When I'm taking roll, I don't have to worry about any of them being gone," Terry said. "These guys are the Iron Man guys, they're working....and they've come a long ways. That's what you want. It's a fun group, and they're fun to coach."
A lot of the seniors have been in the program since freshman year, but they really began to turn a corner midway through last year. That has carried over to this season, when they've made a strong case to be considered one of the best teams in Class 4A. The rankings even have reflected that at times.
Against Wellington, the Orioles didn't have too much difficulty, winning 10 of 13 bouts with one open weight class.
The senior were 4-2 in their bouts. Cory White (138 pounds) got a shutout win 5-0 against Wellington's Andrew Pelky. White got out of a headlock while facing him, then knocked him down for the first takedown. White didn't allow an escape in Period 2, scored on a penalty and got a reversal in Period 3.
Brett Hamilton (145), who has started to hit his stride, got a 9-5 win against Ben DeJarnett. Hamilton dragged him away from the edge of the mat before scoring the first takedown and got a reversal in Period 2 for a 4-0 lead. Both wrestlers exchanged some reversals, but Hamilton scored a 3-point nearfall to clinch it.
"It was pretty nerve wracking just because it was the last home match. You always want to go out with a bang," Hamilton said about senior night. "We all felt it individually...We all knew it was pretty special and that this was it, so we got to make it count."
Quentin Spainhower (160) completely dominated Jason Haydon, Wellington's lone senior. Spainhower led at 12-0 at one point before finishing with a pin victory.
Colby Willis (195) used patience before milking and circling in the final seconds of Period 3 to break a 1-1 tie for a 3-1 win.
Chance Runnion (220) and Jake Ehrlich (285) both took losses.
Kalaeb Bratton (132) wrestled the best match of the night and maybe his best match of the season. Bratton got taken down by Andrew Horn before getting a late escape to trail 2-1 after the first period. Bratton scored the only point in Period 2 on an escape after starting down. In Period 3, Bratton got a reversal, but gave up a late reversal to let Horn tie the match 4-4, sending it to overtime.
In overtime, Bratton won an incredible scramble to get behind Horn to clinch a 6-4 victory.
"As soon as I felt his grip leave my legs, I knew I had to get control of him, and as soon as I heard the crowd yell and the ref yell, too, it was a rush of excitement," Bratton said.
Bratton, who has had an up-and-down year, said this win can boost his confidence going forward.
Jake Goldenstein (106), Nathan Moore (113) and Josh Moore (120) all picked up wins for the Orioles.
Augusta will compete in the tough Chanute Invitational tournament Saturday. Chanute is No. 5 in all of Class 4A in the KWCA team rankings.