Sometimes there’s a concern about how a wrestling team might perform in its first competition after winter break.
Augusta had few issues with that Thursday night.
The Orioles dominated Clearwater 61-9 at home for a league dual victory. Augusta got five pins and took advantage of four open weight divisions by Clearwater in the romp. The Orioles improve to 6-0 in dual this season.
“I thought we did a lot of good things, really, we did,” coach Brandon Terry said. “Some of the kids are doing the things they’re coached to do, and I think a lot of kids are getting better.
“...But I’m a little greedy. I felt like we could’ve won all those matches.”
Tyler Hildibrand started a trend for the Orioles in the first bout of the night. He got a takedown of Jake Thomas on an immediate whistle move. The move led to a 3-point nearfall, then a pin at the 1:09 mark.
Jake Goldenstein (113) scored in a variety of ways, including a couple shots right off whistle moves and a reversal, on way to a 12-0 victory.
Nathan Moore (120) won one of the toughest matches of the night. Moore fell behind 2-0 after losing control of Austin Pitcher’s leg as he got pushed back for a takedown. Moore started the second period down and was able to wriggle free before circling for a reversal to tie the bout 2-2. In the final period, Moore did great work on a tie-up while facing Pitcher by grabbing his leg and driving into Pitcher’s side that led to a takedown. Moore prevented a late escape for the 4-2 win.
Josh Moore (126) also drove his opponent, Jordan Chambers, on the side for a takedown that led to a quick pin at 1:04.
“We’ve been working a lot on position and creating angles,” Terry said.
Kaleb Fewin (132) took the first loss for the Orioles in a 7-6 contest. He escaped to pull within one point late, but wasn’t able to get the final takedown.
Rob Winzer (152) lifted TJ Henderson really high in the air for a big takedown that led to a fast pin 33 seconds in.
Probably the biggest upset of the night was when Clearwater’s Curtis Rylant topped Colton Clayborn (160). After a scoreless first period and starting Period 2 on the bottom, Clayborn got an interesting reversal between Rylant’s legs for the first points of the match. But he was got caught high and gave up a reversal shortly after for a 2-2 tie at the end of the period.
In Period 3, Clayborn started up. He was holding Rylant down for about a minute, but started losing control. Terry had Clayborn let him go so there still would be time to get a takedown, but Clayborn couldn’t score again. Rylant wrestled defensively the rest of the match for a 3-2 win.
“He’s been working hard at creating angles and being offensive, and that was two things he didn’t do,” Terry said of Clayborn.
Cody Thompson (182) also lost a 3-2 decision after he gave up a third-period takedown. He escaped, but didn’t have enough time to get a good shot.
Blake Watkins (195) continued his strong season with a dominating pin at the :39 mark. Blake Aitchison (285) also got a fast pin after the first takedown in his match.
Augusta competes in its home tournament Saturday.