Bears wrestling team goes 2-0 in home opener
AHOSKIE— In the 2010-11 season the Hertford County Wrestling team was too small to have the mathematical possibility to win against full teams.
The roster has expanded and the opportunity for team victory has followed suit.
Friday night was Hertford County’s first of four home tri-meets this season. Despite having no wrestlers at the 132, 138 and 195 weight classes, Head Coach Rich Halas made adjustments to stretch the line-up. The Bears executed with a bang against the North Raleigh Christian Academy Knights.
Seniors Donarius Dunn and Grant Gatling set the bar with back-to-back pins, as they both moved up a weight class at 170 and 182 respectively. The 174-pound junior Kendail Swain took on the Knights’ 195-pounder, and lost by technical fall, which resulted in five team points for Raleigh, rather than the six points that a forfeit would have cost the Bears.
Tylik Britt (120), Anthony Turner (126), Dylan Waterfield (152), Aaron Pruden (220) and Brian Bland (285) all won by pin in the first periods of their initial matches of the evening. Their efforts netted the Bears a 48-32 victory over Raleigh.
The final match against Roanoke Rapids was far closer.
The Bears started strong in their second match of the night with another pin from Gatling, this one with just over a minute left in the third period. A forfeit at the next weight class tied the team score for the Hornets.
Another pin from Pruden was answered by a pin from the Hornet’s heavyweight. Rookie wrestler, Morris Brockington won the first match of his career by pin at 113 for Hertford, but it was answered by a Roanoke Rapids pin at 120. Turner’s second pin of the night put the Bears up by 12, but back-to-back forfeits at 132 and 138 tied the score once again.
With four bullets remaining in their chamber Hertford County lost two matches in a row before Dunn took a forfeit to bring the bears within six points. Halas called upon the 158-pound Ray’Quan Horton, one of his eleventh grade captains to wrestle at 170 and even the score. Horton would need to pin his opponent to tie the match at 42-42.
Conceding a 10-pound weight disadvantage, Horton locked arms so aggressively with his opponent that his headgear was removed three times. With 40 seconds left in the first period, Horton’s patience paid off as he caught his opponent in a headlock that sealed the deal with five seconds left in the first period.
When a team score is tied in wrestling, a number of criteria decide the tie breaker. Hertford and Roanoke Rapids were dead even until criterion H (8), in which awards the victory to whichever team scored first in more matches. In the nine matches wrestled, Hertford scored first in six of them, granting them the tiebreaking victory.
“You can’t score first in matches that you win by forfeits,” smiled Halas after the narrow victory.
Hertford County’s next home meet takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 against First Flight and Pasquotank. The Bears will be seeking retribution against a Pasquotank team that beat them by one point on Dec. 4 when Horton was not in the lineup.