Three weeks into the start of the competitive part of the wrestling season, 51/2 weeks since the first wrestling practice of the 2018-2019 season, the Generals wrestling team is heading home for Thanksgiving Break. Its been a good start to the season, so let’s recap!
The Generals opened the season with an impressive 19-15 victory on the road against nationally ranked Ferrum College. It was the first time the Generals had beaten Ferrum in a dual meet! First year heavyweight Clay Chadwick sealed the win with a 6-4 victory against Ferrum’s hvy, a senior and returning NCAA qualifier. Also getting big wins were FY 133 Charlie Cunningham, SO 149 Bryce Crew, FY 157 Ryan Luth, and JR 165 Shane Conners. With each team winning 5 matches, bonus points were the difference; Bryce Crew’s pin gave the generals 3 extra team points, while Ryan Luth and Shane Conners both picked up an extra point with their major decision victories.
Next up, at the Washington and Jefferson Invitational two Generals won championships, FY 133 Charlie Cunningham and JR 174 Joe Scott. JR 165 Shane Conners, SO 149 Bryce Crew, and FY 157 Ryan Luth took 3rd place, while SR 125 Ethan Hartman took 4th and FY 133 Russ Zimmerman took 5th. After losing in the first round, FY 141 Joseph Tarquine won four matches and finished in the top 8. In all, 7 place-winners and a 4th place team finish.
Week three featured a 36-9 dual meet victory over neighboring SVU on Friday evening and a trip to Salem, VA for the US Marine Corps Star City Tournament on Sunday, where the Generals secured another 4th place team finish, with 2 champions, 2 runner-up finishes, and 4 placing 3rd-5th. FY Charlie Cunningham continued his undefeated start to his first college season, winning his 2nd straight tournament at 133 lbs. Fellow FY Ryan Luth dominated the bracket at 157 lbs. Bryce Crew and JR 174 Andrew Taylor both fell in the finals, finishing 2nd. JR 174 Alec Horne finished in 3rd place, while Ethan Hartman and Joseph Tarquine took 4th; Russell Zimmerman came back strong for a second straight week for 5th place.
It’s been a really good start for the first year wrestlers, with Charlie and Ryan leading the way, and Clay Chadwick, Joseph Tarquine, and Russ Zimmerman having great results. FY 197 Brad Basham started the Ferrum dual, but suffered an ankle injury and will look to return to competition soon. Despite the impressive results thus far, injuries have affected several key contributors, including SR 141 Zach Bylykbashi, JR 165 Shane Conners, JR 174 Joe Scott, and JR 184 Rexx Hallyburton. All look to return relatively soon after Thanksgiving Break or in the New Year, giving the Generals wrestling team a line-up that should challenge for a conference championship! Looking ahead, the next two competitions will be a Dec. 1 trip to Ohio Northern Invitational, and Dec 17 home duals against likely opponents Ohio Northern, Greensboro College, and Trine University (final schedule still TBD).