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Wild Wrestling Win

Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty costs Raiders as Solon beats W’burg

SOLON– The Solon varsity wrestling team started its season with a doozy.
The Spartans came away from a home dual meet with Williamsburg Nov. 30 with a one-point win, 32-31, awarded to Solon on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the final match of the night.
“The Williamsburg meet was definitely one to remember,” noted Solon Head Coach Blake Williams.
The Raiders returned most of the lineup from a team that finished second in the WaMaC, Williams said, while the Spartans graduated seven seniors who amassed more than 1,000 career wins.
“We knew we had our hands full with a young lineup,” Williams said.
The Spartans had built a 13-0 lead early in the meet with a 12-1 major decision (12-1) by Christian Haight at 132 pounds, followed by successive decisions by Andy Brokaw (138), Caleb Ebert (145) and Jax Flynn (152).
Williamsburg climbed back into it with a pair of major decisions at 160 and 170 pounds.
The Raiders’ Calvin Malloy captured an 8-0 victory over Solon’s Seamus Poynton at 160, while Gage Hazen-Fabor defeated John Lilleodden, 10-2.
Solon’s Mike Hoyle responded with an 11-4 decision over Isaac Maser at 182 pounds, giving the Spartans some cushion and a 16-8 lead.
But that closed quickly when Williamsburg’s Josh Holub pinned Solon’s Adam Bock in the 195-pund match, making it 16-14 in favor of the Spartans.
Back-to-back pins by Zach Wegmann at 220 pounds (1:35) and Tyler Linderbaum at 285 (4:31) built the Solon lead back up to 14 points.
But the Raiders rattled off two quick falls– Kayden Grip pinned Gabe Yetley at 102 pounds in 1:22, while Sam Van Dee finished off Solon Austin Schwake in 17 seconds at 113 pounds, closing the Spartan lead to two points, 28-26.
That’s when Zeb Gnida scored the upset of the night, taking a 3-1 decision away from defending state champion Grayson Kesterson at 120 pounds.
“Not only was he a state champion, he did not give up a point the entire state tournament last year,” Williams said of Kesterson.
Solon held a 31-26 lead going into 126 pound match, with Williamsburg state qualifier Jalen Schropp facing off against Solon’s Aidan Dall.
Midway through the match, the Raiders lost a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct on the bench, and Schropp went on to pin Dall in 4:59 to tie the score at 31.
When duals end in ties, Williams said, the winner is determined by criteria. The first criteria in the long list of criteria is if one of the teams had any unsportsmanlike conducts, the other team would win.
And that results in a victory for the Spartans.
“I thought our guys really fought each and every match,” Williams said. “In a close dual like that, every team point is crucial. We left a few team points out there tonight. We can’t give up major decisions and falls. On the other hand, we have to make sure we get those bonus points when we can. Zach and Tyler did a great job of getting falls.”
In a meet like this, he said, points are huge.
“Zeb wrestled a great match against obviously a very tough wrestler,” Williams continued. “This shows that he can go with anyone if he puts his mind to it. This should be a great confidence booster for him.”