Even on a night when Augusta's wrestling team was flat, as coach Brandon Terry put it, the Orioles still put together an impressive dominating win at Circle Thursday night.
"We dominated, but hopefully we got better," coach Brandon Terry said.
The Orioles had some silly mistakes here and there, and took longer to finish off matches than maybe Terry and the Orioles would've preferred, but they still managed seven pins on way to a 69-3 routing of the Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds were competing with three open weights and several younger wrestlers as they put up a respectable fight.
More than anything, Terry was glad to see continued improvement from several wrestlers.
"Some of them are putting it together and doing some good things," Terry said. "Blake Watkins, he might only weight 178 pounds or so. He's strong as an ox. He has made a ton of improvements. Ian [O'Laughlin] has made a ton of improvements. Up and down the lineup, a lot of them are improving. Connor Spellman is getting tougher, too."
Watkins, who wrestles way up at 195, won tie-ups and competed hard against Circle's Jarod Daniel. Even when Watkins got reversed, he quickly escapes, then threw Daniel with a half that led to a pin.
"I went out there aggressive and knew that if I got him in any takedown, I could pin him pretty fast," Watkins said. "...If he escapes me, I just have to get up and try it again,"
Watkins said part of the reason for his big improvements has been his killer instinct.
"I definitely want to keep my varsity spot until Regionals," Watkins said. "Just getting takedowns, my mentality and just going all six minutes," he said. "That, and technique, I've improved a lot."
O'Laughlin needed only 11 seconds before getting a pin out of a throw takedown. He's been working hard to improve his game.
"I've working on trying to take more shots," O'Laughlin said. "That's something I've struggled with in the past, and I'm trying to work more shots into my takedowns."
Jake Goldenstein (113) got a quick takedown and 3-point nearfall before getting a pin. Kalaeb Bratton (138) scored off a low shot and prevented escapes before turning them into 2-point nearfalls for a 9-0 lead against Caleb Crawford. Bratton went on to get a pin. Colton Clayborn (160) got a viscous takedown that led to an easy pin just 26 second in. Tyler Hildibrand (106) Cody Thompson (182) and Blake Aitchison (285) won with minor decisions.
Circle's Luke Borg got the T-birds' only win at 170. Borg beat Scott Hooglugt, who was wrestling his first varsity match in place of the still-injured Wright Bosley, by a score of 7-0.
In JV action, Jeremy Travaille (160), Andrew Duncan (182) and Darrien Keyser all got first-period pins. Shane Bosley (160) won with a second-period pin. Jesse Clark (182) and Daniel Moore (182) got four-point wins.
Augusta competes at Kapaun dual tournament Saturday in Wichita.