The Rolla wrestling team headed to Waynesville for their first dual of 2018 on Thursday, Jan. 4. The Bulldogs got off to a great start on the night and held off a late comeback by Waynesville to hold onto a 42-32 win, keeping their perfect dual record for the season alive.
After Waynesville was open at 106, Rolla won the first three matches of the night. Xander Sederburg kicked things off with a pin of Thomas Brady in the second period at 113. Nate Pulliam (120) and Zach Fennell (126) followed that up with pins of their own over Chance Carmack and Aedan Brady, respectively. Pulliam and Fennell's wins kept their undefeated records on the season in tact.
"Their offseason is definitely showing," said coach Hauck of his two undefeated wrestlers. "They put a lot of time in during the offseason and it's showing now during the season and that's why they do the offseason. It's great to see and they continue to work hard in the room and they take nothing for granted. Every match is a new match and every match starts 0-0. They had great competition tonight and it was good to see them come out on top again."
Waynesville was able to get some points on the board in the second period with Gavin Sax at 132. Sax faced off against Justin McEnany and controlled the match on the way to a 16-0 tech fall victory. Rolla responded with Coleman Brainard, who pinned Aaron McDaniel in the first period at 138. The Tigers then got a pin of their own from Sean Sax, who pinned Issac Hunter in 1:24 at 145.
After the Sax brothers, Rolla won two straight matches starting with Lucas Lambeth at 152. Lambeth wrestled against Martin Medrano and was able to earn a pin in the second period. One of the closest matches of the night came at 160 between Bryce O'Connor and Daniel Albrecht. The first period was quiet in the way of points and Albrecht was on the verge of carrying a 5-3 lead into the third, but O'Connor was able to get a takedown at the end of the period to tie the match at five. O'Connor was then able to get a reversal in the third period to win the match 7-5.
Wayneville took the next two matches on pins from Devin Stearns over Jacob Phillips at 170 and Floyd Moore over Matt Osman at 182. The other nail-biting match came at 195 between Colton Franks and Andrew Lietold. There were not many points to be found in the match, but Lietold was able to get the lone takedown of the match in the third period to earn three points for Waynesville with a 3-2 win. While the match was a victory for Wayneville, it sealed the victory for Rolla. Rolla held on to a 39-26 point lead after the match, making it impossible to Waynesville to get enough points for a win with two remaining matches.
Jacob Dobkins was able to get Rolla's last win of the night at 220, earning a 3-0 victory over Gavin Cochran. Waynesville was able to end the night with a win when Tim Brecht caught Justin Briggs and got a pin in the first period, bringing the final score on the night to 42-32.
"It's exciting," said Rolla head coach Marty Hauck after the match. "Waynesville is a good, solid team, they beat us last year in conference and we're gonna have our hands full at the end of the year in conference. Coach Smith does a great job with his kids and it shows."
Rolla also used the night to celebrate Brainard's 150th career win, which he got during a very busy Kinloch Classic over the weekend. Brainard's mom, Bonnie, is an assistant principal at Waynesville and Mark Sells, who coached the Bulldogs Brainard's freshman year was also in attendance, so it was a great opportunity to celebrate with many of the people who played a role in this milestone.
"It is a big accomplishment. It's something I worked very hard for. I actually didn't know I got the 150th until tonight, so it's a pretty surreal experience actually," said Brainard after the match. "It's great. It's always a little family rivalry, I guess you could say, with my mom working down here and us always facing each other...we always have playful fun with it. It's nice to (celebrate 150 wins) somewhere where she works so she can see it."
Rolla now sits with a dual record of 7-0. Coach Hauck said the key to keeping that zero in the loss column is staying healthy and continuing to put in the work to get better.
"Staying healthy and keep improving," said coach Hauck. "We have a lot of stuff we gotta improve on. Tonight we got exposed on a few things and we've got to improve on those things."
Rolla will stay within the Ozark Conference for their next dual, as they'll wrestling against Parkview and an non-conference school in Marshfield for a tri on Tuesday, Jan. 6.