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January 7, 2010

 

Red Raiders romp past gritty Homer

Wrestling

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Nate Crawford battles Marcus Earl of Fulton at 152 pounds during Wednesday’s OHSL Freedom match. Earl won a 7-1 decision as the visiting Red Raiders rolled to a 59-3 victory.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

The final score really does say a lot of things.
Fulton, by virtue of its 59-3 win over host Homer Central, continues to show its domination of fellow OHSL Freedom Division wrestling teams Wednesday night. While improving to 3-0 in the division and 17-3 overall, the Red Raiders cleared one of the few remaining obstacles to another division dual-meet title and displayed how to do the little things needed to win matches.
What is not shown on the scoreboard is the very determined efforts of the Trojans (2-1, 17-6 overall) in a number of matches that were truly exciting to watch on Senior Night at the high school. This effort was not overlooked by either coach.
“Homer really wrestled hard,” Fulton coach Mike Conners said. “They have a lot of hard-nosed kids in a good program with a good coach. They showed a lot of heart on their Senior Night.
“Our kids are a bit tired because we have wrestled a lot during the break,” he added. “We wrestled December 28th and 29th in a tournament at Oswego State. We had a couple of days off before wrestling in the U-E Duals this past weekend. We wrestled a good Homer team tonight and we wrestle in another tournament this weekend.”
“Mike Conners is a class act,” Homer coach Jeff Lewis said. “It was a nice compliment for him.
“I thought we did well,” he continued. “From top to bottom, we wrestled tough and we wrestled hard. Our guys looked forward to this match and their effort isn’t reflected in the score.”
The difference is the match was truly the little basic things in technique and Fulton is solid in that aspect.
“There are so many things that each wrestler knows,” Conners explained. “You have to think and react quickly to constantly changing conditions. The little basic things like balance, leverage and when to apply pressure or strength all come into play. Those little things were effective for us tonight and I was really pleased with all our guys.”
FULTON BUILT A 23-0 lead as the action started at 103 pounds. The Red Raiders scored pins at 103, 119 and 125 with a five-point technical fall victory at 112 which moved into the later half of the third period period before Johan Ambach finally defeated Trojan sophomore Bobby Chambrone, who refused to be pinned on three different occasions.
“Bobby really wrestled with a lot of heart,” Lewis said of Chambrone. “It was close a couple of times, but he refused to allow himself to be pinned.”
The lone Homer win came at 130 pounds. Trojan freshman Nick Petrie upped his record to 16-7 with a 7-1 decision over Red Raider senior Jack Howard.
After a scoreless first period, Howard scored the first point on an escape after choosing the down position. Petrie responded with a nice takedown and quickly followed up by putting Howard on his back briefly for a two-point near-fall.
Leading 4-1 heading into the third period, Petrie chose the down position and received a penalty point after Howard received more the one caution while getting into the restart position. Petrie did score a two-point reversal as time wound down to score the win.
“That was a great win for Nick,” Lewis said. “He worked hard throughout the match.”
Cautions from the referee were a common theme throughout the early matches. He had the wrestlers get into position and would then say, “Set”, before blowing the whistle. So many wrestlers are taught to go on that first sound that the word was triggering their first reaction.
It seemed to bother the Fulton wrestlers more than the Homer kids, but both sides received more cautions than usual.
The best match of the night was at 135 where Fulton sophomore Tony Torrese scored a 6-4 decision over Trojan senior Ben McBride.
McBride scored the first takedown, but the penalty-point explained earlier gave Torrese a little momentum and he followed through with a two-point reversal.
McBride chose the neutral (standing) position to start the second period. Torrese surprised McBride with his first takedown for a 5-2 lead. Torrese got his final point with a one-point escape early in the third period.
McBride tried to find an opening as the final period wound down. He got a late takedown to close the gap to 6-4, but did not have enough time for another move to get Torrese on his back.
AFTER A PIN victory at 140 for Fulton, the fans saw two more exciting matches that favored Red Raider wrestlers with 7-1 decisions in much-tighter matches.
Nick Woodworth held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period against Trojan freshman Mark Dove. A two-point reversal and three-point near-fall gave Woodworth some late points to secure the win as Dove refused to get pinned.
At 152, Fulton junior to a 3-0 lead into the third period against Nate Crawford. Homer’s senior captain got an escape early in the final period, but could find an opening. With 15 seconds left, Crawford had to gamble for the takedown. He grabbed at Woodworth’s shoulder, but could not hold on. Woodworth countered for the takedown as Crawford landed on his back and got two more points for a near-fall as the buzzer sounded to end the match. It was just the second loss this season for Crawford who has 21 wins this season.
“Marcus got a very nice win against one of the best wrestlers in the section,” Conners said. “That (Crawford) kid is really solid is so many ways.”
Fulton closed out the night with pinfalls at 160, 189 and 215 while Conners’ son, also named Mike, battled to a 6-1 decision over Trojan senior James Cochran at 171. This was another 1-0 match, favoring Conners, heading into the third period.
As it was the final home match of the season, Coach Lewis honored all of the seniors prior to the match. Those seniors included Cochran, Crawford, McBride, Ryan Murray, Carter O’Gorman, Adam Gordon and Kenny Ensign.
Gordon and Ensign both had exhibition matches. Ensign was the only senior to get a win as he pinned Derek Owen at the 3:30 mark of their 171-pound bout.
Gordon lost a tough 1-0 decision to Casey Clark in the final match of the night at 285 pounds.
Homer returns to the OHSL Freedom mats next Wednesday, traveling to Mexico.