Sage Coy and Tyler Rigney each wrestled one class above where they’re listed on the Southside roster in a dual Tuesday night against Delta at Southside. The freshman and senior didn’t let the added weight of their opponents bring them down.
Each turned in dominant wins, and the pair turned an eight-point deficit into a two-point lead for the Rebels late in the dual, helping Southside win 38-36.
When Coy hit the mat for the 113-pound match (he usually wrestles at 106,) the Rebels trailed 30-22 (the dual started at 138 pounds per the pre-match draw.) Coy turned in a 15-1 victory to pull his team within four points.
Coy said it can be difficult to wrestle up a class because of the added strength of the opponent, but good technique can make up for the disparity. Despite the victory, he said he saw room for improvement in his performance.
“I didn’t wrestle how I wanted to; I didn’t wrestle very well,” Coy said. “I really wanted to get the pin.”
Rigney, who’s listed at 113 pounds, followed Coy at 120 pounds. He won by pin in the first period to put his team ahead by two points with two matches to go. Exuse Brown then won the 126-pound match by pin to clinch the match for Southside.
Rigney has missed much of the season with a torn meniscus and said he still doesn’t feel quite like his old self. He said the challenge of wrestling at 120 is helping to prepare for sectionals, where he plans to wrestle again at 113. Both the Rebels and the Eagles will compete in the Delta Sectional on Jan. 26.
“When you’re wrestling someone that’s 120, it’s harder, they’re (stronger), they’re bigger. I still make 113 and I wrestle at (120). They’re a lot bigger than me. But now when I go to 113, it’s a lot easier to get my takedowns.”
After Delta’s Justin Dilts won the dual’s opening match at 138, Southside won the next four matches. Selby Norman won by decision at 145 pounds and Tyler Leach won by fall at 152 pounds. Khalil Lewis then won in double overtime at 160 pounds and Jake Reed won by forfeit at 170 pounds.
Delta’s Scottie Evans won at 182 pounds by fall to break the Rebels’ streak, and teammate Brendan Gill then won by fall at 195 pounds. Southside’s Jacob Strauch won by a 10-0 decision at 220 pounds, and Delta’s Ryan George won by fall at 285 pounds. Delta’s Brock House then won by forfeit at 106 pounds. Delta’s Adam Gordon won by fall at 132 pounds.
Southside coach Tony Abbott said his team’s tight win gave his wrestlers a barometer of their progress heading into the sectional. Tuesday’s dual was the final tune-up before the sectional meet.
“They all fought pretty hard,” Abbott said. “I didn’t like that we gave up so many pins, but that’s (one of) the things we’ve got to work on.”