CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind.
When Northeastern and Lincoln high schools squared off for the 2012-13 Tri-Eastern Conference wrestling dual, just five head-to-head matches were contested.
Numbers are up for both Wayne County schools, and this year’s meet took place Thursday at Lincoln with just one double-forfeit. Northeastern took a commanding 54-18 victory over the host Golden Eagles.
“As young of a group as we are and going out there and winning with a score like that, it felt really good to be able to do that,” said sophomore Nick Dargie, who won his 126-pound match via pin in just 58 seconds.
Dargie’s victory gave the Knights a 24-18 lead and started a string of eight straight Northeastern victories.
Dargie is also somewhat of a veteran, just one of two returners from last year’s seven-wrestler roster.
“It’s a lot different having a lot more guys on the team,” Dargie said of the depth. “You have a lot more people to work with, a lot different conditions instead of the six same guys to wrestle with over and over.”
Dargie’s match was followed with another quickie.
Freshman Garrett Anderson earned a pin in 49 seconds at 132, then the Knights picked up points via a pair of forfeits, six to returning sophomore Braxton Brush at 138 and six to freshman Austin McNew at 145.
Ryan Hartmann had one of Northeastern’s two victories by decision, 9-2 at 152, making it 51-18 Northeastern, before an impressive victory by junior Quest Schwab.
Schwab moved in from California prior to this year and has never wrestled before.
The junior trailed 8-2 in the 160 match, before a reversal made it 8-4 and he picked up a pin in 1:13 over Lincoln veteran Gus Rihm, one of three seniors honored prior to the meet.
“It was really great,” Schwab said. “I thought he was going to be super, super tough. People have been telling me he’s a really great, formidable opponent, but in the end I hooked a cradle and I just kept it. I didn’t let it go.
” … My dad always wanted me to wrestle, so I thought I’d try a new thing and so far it’s been pretty fun.”
Zach Haager ended the night with a tight, 5-2 victory at 170.
“We were kind of the unknown entity coming into the season, because we didn’t have a lot of guys last year,” Northeastern coach Bronson Curtis said. “It’s a really good group of freshmen. We had some good first-year wrestlers Our 160-pounder’s a first-year wrestler and did a great job tonight against a veteran senior wrestler, so I was real proud of him. They wrestled real well tonight.”
Northeastern won last year’s meet 24-18 over Lincoln and the two teams started off Thursday as evenly matched as the previous year.
Chace Mosley gave the Knights a 6-0 lead with a pin at 182, but that was quickly erased as Lincoln’s Justin Dunaway picked up six points via forfeit at 195.
Lincoln took a 12-6 lead with a strong comeback by foreign exchange student Tobias Bleymehl.
Bleymehl trailed 7-0 at one point and 14-2 in the third period.
He earned a point on an escape, and a takedown made it 14-5 before Bleymehl erased the score with a pin after 5:03.
Colton Handley (106) gave Northeastern an 18-12 lead with a pin. Austin McCoy picked up points via forfeit at 113, before a Jesse Newton pin tied it one final time for Lincoln at 18.
“That was awesome for Toby (Bleymehl),” said Lincoln first-year coach Ben Crawford, a Hagerstown graduate. ” … He’s really caught on. He started off the first week not really knowing anything about wrestling. … He’s made a lot of progress, and I’m really happy to see that win for him. It means a lot.
” … The other matches, I think, were good, and we could do better. We’ve got to keep pushing it. We’ve got a lot more numbers this year.”