Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but a fighting-mad Irishman, a Lion and a Mustang all walk into a high school gym, and that’s where the joke ends, because Thursday night’s tri-match of Notre Dame, Red Bank and host Walker Valley was some serious business.
At this point in the wrestling season, many teams are just trying to tread water. With injuries and sickness running amok through the ranks it becomes harder and harder to keep momentum while simultaneously entering the some of the hardest parts of the season.
“I thought we had a good night tonight. We are at that same time of the year that everyone is. We are a little beat up, a little sick, but we came out tonight and took care of business,” stated Mustang head coach Alan Morris.
“We do need to do a little better job on pinning. We missed a lot of opportunities. That’s something that we still need to work on. When you get a chance to pin your opponent you need to take advantage of it.”
Despite the dents, dings, coughs and sniffles Walker Valley lived up to their new ninth-place state ranking with convincing wins over both Notre Dame and Red Bank Thursday night.
Fighting Irish 14
Logan Smith got things rolling for the Mustangs at 113-pounds with a second round pinning of ND’s Alex Ebekly. Braxton Brewer tacked on three more points at 120-pounds with a decision win over Jared Andrews.
Tyrus Hamrick (132) scored Walker Valley’s next points with a 6-4 decision win against Noah Bankston. Second-state-ranked 138-pounder Caleb Langford did not disappoint, racking up a number of match points before pinning Joshua Jane in the final seconds of the first round.
Lawrence Cotton kept things going at 145 by pinning Michael Quatrano in the second period. Ryan Hager followed that up at 152-pounds with a 9-0 major decision against Sam Cromer.
After Fighting Irish forfeits at 170 and 182, 195-pounder and fourth-state-ranked Billy Raulston kept his perfect season alive with a first-round pinning of Chris Hornsby to increase Walker Valley’s team score to 46-10.
Zach Miller followed suit at 220 with a first round pin of his own against Nick Murphy. A Notre Dame forfeit at heavyweight finished up Mustang scoring as they came away with the 58-14 win.
Mustangs 82, Lions 0
Walker Valley made quick work of the Red Bank Lions in their second match of the evening, pitching an impressive shutout and missing a perfect match by a mere two points.
Nine of the Mustang matches were decided via pins. Brewer started the match at 120 with a first-round pinning of Devonte Clark.
Arrie Bramlett (126) got a first round pin when he put Cody Baugh’s shoulders on the matt. Langford got a first round pin on Gabriel McDuffie. Hager notched a major decision against David Johnson.
At 160 Qy’Re Brown pinned Red Bank’s Russell Kell in the third period. Chase Gregory pinned Devin Crawl in the second round of the 170-pound match. Chazz Fulford made it 57-0 with a second-round pinning of Robert Perry at 182.
Raulston improved to 16-0 on the season with a first round pinning of Corey Stallworth. Miller also notched his second first-round pin when he took down Christian Jackson.
Jordan Caylor wrapped up Mustang scoring with a third-period pin against Trent Comeaux. Those victories combined with Lion forfeits at 113, 132, 145 and 285 let Walker Valley walk of the mat on a high note.
“We had several guys that had a good night tonight. Most of the normal names that people are used to hearing. I was really proud of our 106-pounder tonight, though. He came in as a backup, our starter came down sick. Jordan stepped in and got a big win here against Red Bank. He took the loss against a very good wrestler from Notre Dame, but that kid is one of the top in the state and Jordan went out and wrestled him tough and put a great effort out there,” stated Morris.
The Mustang’s midseason gauntlet continues Friday and Saturday as they take part in the grueling Bradley Invitational Tournament at Bradley Central.
Walker Valley (WV) 58, Notre Dame (ND) 14
113: Logan Smith, (WV), pinned Alex Eberle, (ND), 3:33. 120: Braxton Brewer, (WV), dec. Jared Andrews, (ND), 2-1. 126: Patrick Mullin, (ND), pinned Arrie Bramlett, (WV), 4:37. 132: Tyrus Hamrick, (WV), dec. Noah Bankston, (ND), 6-4. 138: Caleb Langford, (WV), pinned Joshua Justiniano, (ND), 1:47. 145: Lawrence Cotton, (WV), pinned Michael Qualrtrano, (ND), 3:43. 152: Ryan Hager, (WV), maj. dec. Sam Cromer, (ND), 9-0. 160: Michael Labbe, (ND), maj. dec. QyRe Brown, (WV), 12-2. 170: Chase Gregory, (WV), forf. 182: Chazz Fulford, (WV), forf. 195: Billy Raulston, (WV), pinned Chris Hornsby, (ND), 0:34. 220: Zack Miller, (WV), pinned Nick Murphy, (ND), 0:46. 285: Samuel Dworak, (WV), forf. 106: Luke Mullin, (ND), maj. dec. Jordan Caylor, (WV), 13-0.
Walker Valley (WV) 82, Red Bank (RB) 0
120: Braxton Brewer, (WV), pinned Devonte Clark, (RB), 1:13. 126: Arrie Bramlett, (WV), pinned Cody Baugh, (RB), 1:40. 132: Tyrus Hamrick, (WV), forf. 138: Caleb Langford, (WV), pinned Gabriel McDuffie, (RB), 1:09. 145: Lawrence Cotton, (WV), forf. 152: Ryan Hager, (WV), maj. dec. David Johnson, (RB), 13-1. 160: QyRe Brown, (WV), pinned Russell Kell, (RB), 5:17. 170: Chase Gregory, (WV), pinned Devin Crawl, (RB), 3:20. 182: Chazz Fulford, (WV), pinned Robert Perry, (RB), 2:57. 195: Billy Raulston, (WV), pinned Corey Stallworth, (RB), 1:44. 220: Zack Miller, (WV), pinned Christian Jackson, (RB), 1:44. 285: Samuel Dworak, (WV), forf. 106: Jordan Caylor, (WV), pinned Trent Comeaux, (RB), 5:10. 113: Logan Smith, (WV), forf.