Preseason dual a success

By Frank Gogola

Finishing off its preseason in style, wrestling gave its athletes a chance to prove their stuff at the Red/Black Dual Friday at the Chick Evans Field House.

The Black team held on for a 21-15 win over the Red team in the intrasquad meet.

“[It was] good up and down the lineup,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “I was excited about our fire tonight.”

Ludwig said some of the tightest battles were at 125, 141, 149, 174 and 285 (heavyweight) weight classes.

At 125, redshirt freshman Braun Marquez (Black) defeated junior Derek Elmore (Red) 2-0 in overtime after he lost to Elmore in the preliminaries.

Junior Tyler Argue (Red) upset redshirt senior Kevin Fanta (Black), a past national qualifier, by a 6-4 decision at 141.

At 149, senior Rob Jillard (Red), who had lost to freshman Austin Culton (Black) in the preliminaries, avenged his earlier loss with a 6-2 decision over Culton.

Redshirt freshman Billy Chancey (Black) put up a good fight against redshirt senior Matt Mougin (Red), but Mougin got the better of him with a 7-4 decision at 174.

Redshirt senior Jared Torrence (Red), at 285 (heavyweight), took down redshirt sophomore Arthur Bunce (Black) 5-2 in overtime.

“This is a [starting] point for us,” Ludwig said. “It’s important in that we did a good job. We determine a kind of a pecking order within the room based on these matches. But it’s not an end-all, be-all. It’s a great start for us. Now we’re going to take into consideration the next couple weeks where we have open tournaments, common opponents, placing at those tournaments, those kind of things.”

Other matches:

• 133: Freshman Jordan Northrup (Black) pinned redshirt sophomore Thorian Twyner (Red) at 133.

• 157: Sophomore Andrew Morse (Black) took a 12-3 major decision over freshman Jacob Haydock (Red).

• 165: Redshirt junior Sam Bennett (Red) squeaked a 5-4 decision past junior Trace Engelkes (Black).

• 184: Redshirt junior Caleb Busson (Black) had an 11-6 decision over redshirt senior Shane Rosenberry (Red) at 184.

• 285: Redshirt freshman Shawn Scott (Black) posted an 18-1 technical fall vs. redshirt senior Parker Settecase (Red) in the 285 weight class.

“I feel great about our team right now,” Ludwig said. “It’s about staying healthy. It’s about working on the little things. We’re nowhere near where we want to be by March, but I think we had an outstanding preseason. The guys worked really hard; they’re buying into the work level, picking up every single year, and we’ve got some very serious guys on this team that want to do big things.”

Even with a long way to go, Ludwig said he was impressed with the team’s passion in closing out the preseason.

“I learned … we have some nice youth in the program pushing some of the older guys,” Ludwig said. “What I liked about what I saw tonight was the level of fight and intensity. That’s exactly what we’re looking for, because that’s where you start if you want to start winning wrestling matches. We can fix technical things, but fire is something that you have to have inside you, and I think we saw that tonight.”