The Rolla wrestling team hosted Willard and Kickapoo for a tri on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Rolla kept their perfect dual record in tact by beating Willard 42-24 and Kickapoo 75-6. The victory over Willard was Rolla's first under head coach Marty Hauck.
The Bulldogs started the night with Willard and had a tough battle on their hands. Rolla opened the dual with six points when Willard was open at 145, but the Tigers won the next two matches. Alex Garrett, who placed third at State last season, was able to get an 18-1 tech fall victory over Lucas Lambeth at 152 before Jed Brandon won a 9-3 decision over Bryce O'Connor at 160. Those two wins gave Willard an early 8-6 lead.
Teams then traded pins in the next two matches. Jacob Phillips had a great night, which started with a first period pin over Jonas Keohane at 170. Willard came back when Sam Manis pinned Ian Dobkins with 47 seconds left in the match.
After trading pins with Willard, the Bulldogs went on a roll. Rolla had three straight wins starting with Colton Franks at 195. Franks was able to get his pin just before the end of the first period, taking down Gavin Killingsworth with two seconds before the first buzzer. Jacob Dobkins then got a first period pin of his own against Austin Webb at 220. Justin Briggs rounded out the big fellas by pinning Dennis Trif at the end of the second period, giving Rolla a 30-14 lead as the dual flipped down to the light weights.
Willard took the first lightweight match when Christian Finley beat Xander Sederburg on a 4-0 decision at 106. After one Sederburg went down, another got a win, when Anthony was able to beat Michael Finley 8-2 at 113.
Rolla got two more wins after the Sederburgs, starting at Nate Pulliam at 120. Pulliam was able to pin Oscar Martinez in the second period. Zach Fennell wasn't able to get a pin against Jonah Peters at 126, but he was able to win an 11-5 decision.
Willard won the last two matches of the night, but it wasn't enough for a comeback. Ryder Heimbach beat Justin McEnaney on a 14-5 major decision, but McEnaney was on the verge of getting a pin off a reversal in the final seconds. Tallon Heimbach then beat Dathan Mickem 4-0. Despite Willard winning the last two matches, Rolla won the dual 42-24.
After taking a dual off while Willard and Kickapoo faced off, the Bulldogs hit the mat against the Chiefs. Rolla was dominant against Kickapoo, taking just one loss in the dual. The Bulldogs didn't just win matches, they got pins. Only one match on the night came down to a decision and Rolla earned nine pins in the dual.
O'Connor kicked things off for Rolla against Evan Anderson, getting a pin in 1:20 at 160. Phillips then got his second pin of the night when he took down David Zook in just 20 seconds.
Rolla's lone loss came at 182, where Ian Dobkins got caught and pinned in 23 seconds by Evan Bowler. Dobkins was frustrated after the match and removed his headgear as he stormed off the mat, which cost the Bulldogs a team point. Rolla then had their only win that didn't come on a pin at 195. Franks controlled his match with Noah Jennerjohn, but the Kickapoo wrestler rode the edge of the mat and Franks couldn't get a takedown in bounds. Jennerjohn then had some constant issues with bleeding and nearly had to forfeit the match, but he was able to get the blood in check enough to finish the match. Franks was able to keep Jennerjohn in bounds enough to win the match 10-5.
Rolla continued to dominate the match from there. Jacob Dobkins got his second got his second pin of the night when he took down Jason Norman in 59 seconds at 220. Briggs then got another pin at heaveyweight when he pinned David Kwon in the second period.
The Bulldogs then got 18 points from opens, as Kickapoo was open at 106, 113 and 120. Fennell stepped in after the opens and pinned Garrett Greve in just 43 seconds at 126. McEnaney turned things around from a tough first match, pinning Nathan Duer in 1:03 at 132. Mickem then fought through a great match at 138, eventually pinning Tristen Upp in the second period. Coleman Brainard finally got a match against Kickapoo and nearly pinned Marquese Gaton in 30 seconds, but the Chiefs' wrestler slipped out of bounds to last a bit longer. Brainard eventually got his pin in the second period. Lambeth then capped off the night with a 44 second pin of Jake Wannenmacker.
That stretch of pins and opens gave Rolla a 75-6 win over the Chiefs.
"The kids wrestled hard, I was excited to get to wins here," said coach Hauck after the match. "It's the first time since I've been here that we beat Willard, they do a great job, their coaching staff does a great job."
Coach Hauck was particularly glad to see that his players took fewer pins on the night, as Rolla had just two pins combined in the two duals. That has been a point of emphasis for the Bulldogs.
"We didn't give up the pins as much as what we have been," said the Rolla head coach. "We talked about that before the match and so that was good to see and a good takeaway from it. Sometimes if you're losing a match, don't just give up and give them your back and give up the extra team points. They did an excellent job of fighting through that."
On top of not taking pins, Rolla got a lot of pins of their own, which is a great sign of moving in the right direction.
"Our kids did well. We had some team goals and the kids are working towards those. We picked up a lot of pins. We didn't just win, but we picked up a lot of pins," said coach Hauck. "That's good for us and that means that we're wrestling. That's the whole idea of wrestling is to put somebody on their back and hold em there."
Rolla had a tough schedule for the past few days, which coach Hauck loves to do to push his wrestlers. The Bulldogs wrestled in the extremely difficult Neosho Tournament this weekend before getting a great challenge against Willard. Now they'll get a well deserved break before their next challenge at the Fort Zumwalt East Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15-16.
"Our varsity guys basically have a full week, week and a half here to recover and our guys need it," said coach Hauck. "We kind of sent them through the gauntlet a little bit and they weathered the storm."