DWIGHT – Heading over to Dwight for the season opening wrestling match Tuesday, Morris coach Jon Lanning already knew approximately what the outcome was going to be for his Redskins already.
“We win this meet on pure numbers, but the one thing Dwight offers is that they have a lot of good individuals,” Lanning said.
This time around the Trojans forfeitted 30 points to Morris before the match began and the Redskins took four of the seven matches that were contested in cruising to a 57-15 win in Dwight.
“Their 220-pounder was a state-place winner last year and the 70-pounder [Branden Allen] is one of the best guys in the gym here, as well,” Lanning said. “They offer our individuals some good matches and it gives us a chance to get a win under us and the chance to get into our routine. It’s a match that helps us get ready for our conference.”
At 220 pounds, Anthony Bauer of Dwight won 7-0 over Dalton Ness; at 120 pounds Jon Carter beat Morris’ Jarred Bernard by fall in 3:24; and at 145 pounds Chance Larsen beat Cody Decker by fall in 1:25 to account for all the points by the Trojans.
Other than that, it was all Redskins.
The match started at the 285-pound weight class where Andrew Faught got the season off to a good start by pinning Garrett Wardell by fall in 46 seconds.
“It feels good,” Faught said. “The first two weeks of practice all you want to do is get to that first match and it’s always nice to get there and it’s even better when you win it.”
Faught admitted he felt a little nervous being the leadoff wrestler for the season.
“I felt a little more pressure, but I knew that I couldn’t let the team down and I had to come out strong,” Faught said.
Faught said he quickly sized up his opponent and then finished him off.
“I was going to do an underhook and then finish, but I found out right away that he was too top heavy,” he said. “So, I snapped him down, did a cow catcher and then he was picked down and I did what I had to do and it was over.”
“Andrew and Dalton Ness both are going to have to come up big for us,” Lanning said. “They were both in a lot of close matches for us last year and both did a good job, they were just right around that .500 mark or below. This year we are hoping that they can make that jump to the next level. Get them wins in three-quarters of their matches. That will help get us some team points along the way.”
After the Faught win, Morris got wins from Tony Menozi and Andrew Smith by forfeit before Carter’s win. The Redskins then got two more forfeits to Dominic Beyerly and Kenny Baldridge before A.J. Vota won by fall for Morris over Cody Mahoney.
Morris got a 9-6 decision from Emmet Chouinard over Jon Gallentine, and Ryan Kowalczyk also was a winner by fall for the Redskins over Kyle Henson in 1:11. The final win by the Redskins went to Bobby Stuebinger by forfeit.
Things will now get decidedly more difficult for Morris when it faces Yorkville in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference opener for the two teams.
“Yorkville is going to be tough. We’ll have to wait and see how we match up,” Lanning said. “They’re pretty good. They’re always pretty good. We host them and we’ll go out and give it our best effort. You know, we are a young team and inexperienced, so we’re going to take our lumps team wise, but we have some good individuals and because of that we will get some team wins, too.”
Lanning said he knows just how the team can do that, too.
“We have to bond together and on the mat the kids can’t give up pins,” Lanning said. “Everyone talks about bonus points. For every wrestling coach it’s about bonus points. If we keep it close and don’t give up those bonus points, we’re going to be in a lot of matches. If the kids go out there and get pinned, we’re going to be in trouble.”
An outcome the Redskins aren’t exactly looking at for the moment.
“Hopefully we’re going to have a pretty good season,” Faught said.