Mt. Carmel wrestling coach Michael Cheesman said his is a “sport of matchups.”
Against North Knox, the first opponent in a double-dual at the home-opener Wednesday at the Hilltop, the matchups worked in the Aces favor as they won, 39-38.
“We got a couple of forfeits where we needed them. We matched up well and got the win,” Cheesman said. “That was a good one for us.”
Against Olney in the final match of the night, things were different, as the Tigers got the matchups they wanted in a 42-37 victory.
“We were in the opposite position. We had bad matchups. It was hard for us to cope with that and adjust,” said the coach after the Aces had lost their first dual of the young season after two straight wins.
North Knox defeated Olney, so all three teams finished the night with 1-1 records.
All things considered, weather included, Cheesman was pleased with the effort.
“With four snow days and limited practice where the kids could hardly make it in, you can’t ask them to do more than they did tonight,” he said.
Mt. Carmel had a 39-20 lead over North Knox but hung on for a one-point win after the Warriors won the final three matches, including two pins and an injury default by Parker Wilkinson, who injured his shoulder after a hard fall to the mat just one minute into his 170-pound match.
Cheesman said Wilkinson, who wore a sling for the remainder of the night as a precaution, “definitely took a hard fall, but we’ll work with what athletic trainer Sam Hodges wants.”
Mt. Carmel got wins on the mat from Andrew Wise (220 pounds), freshman Aaron Wood (106), Logan Johnson (132) and Beau Taylor (152), in addition to forfeit wins by Cody Wall (195), Luke Wolfe (120) and Beau Johnson (126).
Cheesman praised the work of his team in the opener, even ones who lost their match. Austin Rodriguez drew kudos for not allowing a pin in his 138-pound loss to impressive Ben Auberry, whose 19-2 win gained the Warriors five points, but not the six points a pin would have brought, perhaps saving the Aces one-point team victory in the process.
Against Olney, the match began with the 220-pound bout won by Wise. The lead bounced back and forth until an Aces loss at 170 pounds and a forfeit in the next match (182) put the visitors over the top, leading 42-31 heading into the last match won by Mt. Carmel’s Cody Wall (195).
Other Aces wins came from Wood, Wolfe, Johnson and Taylor along with a forfeit win by Devin Tomblinson (160).
Mt. Carmel (2-1) heads to Princeton Saturday for the Big 8 5-way meet, which will bring all conference teams except Jasper together for a day of dual meets.
“That will be a test,” Cheesman said.