West edges South Iredell
After being down 21-0, the West Caldwell wrestling team fought back to defeat South Iredell 36-33 on Thursday in Gamewell.
"We knew coming in that we would have to dig and battle in every weight class," said West head coach Arex Crooke. "I can't say enough about these guys. There isn't a single ounce of quit on this roster."
South Iredell won the first four matches of the day, including two pins and one forfeit. However, Grayson Barnette put up a tough against Ethyan Kramn in the 170 lbs. weight class. Kramn came out with a 9-5 victory, earning just three points for the Vikings.
The Warriors picked up their first victory in the 220 lbs. weight class. Guillermo Solis went up 5-1 on South Iredell's Tyler Flowers, before ending the match by pin fall with 1:04 left in the second period. In the very next match, West Caldwell's Teddy Bolick took on Josh Gorad in the heavyweight bout. The match remained scoreless through the first period. Gorad picked up two points early in the second, but a reversal by Bolick resulted in another pin for West to make the score 21-12.
In the 106 lbs. weight class, Michael Lowe took on a then undefeated Matthew Insogna. Lowe dominated the match, defeating Insogna 8-1 to hand the Vikings' wrestler his first loss of the season. The next match featured West Caldwell's Grant Barnette and South Iredell's Garrett Lineberger. Lineberger opened the bout with a takedown, but a quick reversal by Barnette resulted in a pin. Barnette's victory tied the match at 21-21.
The Vikings went on to win the next match. Jose Lopez defeated Grayson Morgan 11-6 in the 120 lbs. weight class. Similar to the 170 lbs. match, Morgan was competitive and only allowed Lopez to earn three points rather than six.
"Guys like Grayson Barnette and Grayson Morgan might not have the best records," said Crooke. "But they help us win duals because they don't usually give up six (points). Grayson Morgan hasn't wrestled in two weeks and was competitive. Malik (Wiley) also wrestled a great match. He only gave up three."
West tied the match at 24 after Jacob Houck earned a 6-2 victory over Zach Hubbard in the 126 lbs. pound weight class. Wiley wrestled the next match at 132 lbs. He was defeated by Phillip Helderlein. The Warriors took the lead for good when David Denison pinned Karter Balitch with just 14 seconds remaining in the final period. West led 30-27 with two matches remaining.
The very next match was the 145 lbs. weight class featuring West Caldwell's Kenneth Bentley and South Iredell's Logan Geisler. With Geisler leading 7-4 in the second period, Bentley pulled off a reversal and turned it into a pin for West, putting the Warriors ahead 36-27 and sealing the victory.
"Kenneth Bentley and Guillermo Solis did exactly what we asked them to do as captains," said Crooke. "Bentley stepped up big and sealed the match for us. Guillermo also wrestled a great match."
With the win, the Warriors improve to 3-1 in the Catawba Valley 2A Athletic Conference.
"This was a team win," said Crooke. "Whether they wrestled or not, every kid on this roster was a part of this."
West Caldwell will next wrestle on Tuesday against Maiden and North Wilkes.