The Hillsboro Indians hosted the Washington Court House Blue Lions in the first league dual of the season.
The match started out at the 195-weight class, where freshman wrestler Ben Francis of Hillsboro lost by fall to Trevor Crocker of WCH.
“Ben is a first-year wrestler who is wrestling up two weight classes,” coach Greg Rhoads said. “Ben is continually making progress and is doing things the right way and we fully expect to see him continue to improve throughout the year.”
The next match up was at 220 with Gary Reno of Hillsboro taking on Brady Rohrer, where Reno stretched out a 23-11 major decision.
“Gary went out there and took full control of his match,” Rhoads said. “We are constantly pushing our kids to open up and to keep looking for points in all positions. Gary took something that we emphasized this week and executed it perfectly and controlled the match from start to finish. We are extremely proud of Gary and I thoroughly enjoyed having him come off the mat and explain that he finally understands what pushing an opponent to their limits feels like.”
The next match was at 285 where freshman Jordan Groves of Hillsboro went up against Mason Mustain. Jordan fought hard but ended up losing by fall.
“Jordan went out and attacked a much stronger and more mature opponent tonight, he didn’t back down and kept looking to open something up,” Rhoads said. “Jordan improves every day and we are extremely excited to see where he ends up this year.”
Forfeits went to WCH at 106 pounds, 113 pounds, 126 pounds, 132 pounds, and 138 pounds.
Next to wrestle was freshman Michael Kauffman of Hillsboro against Zaigne Fettig at 145 pounds. Fettig ended up winning the match by fall.
“Michael is another one of our first-year kids, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Rhoads said. “He is a sponge and can quickly pick up on things. His positioning and reactions are fantastic, we just need to get more mat time.”
Next, Isaac Lewis of Hillsboro received a forfeit at 152 pounds, and Cameron Roberts of Hillsboro received a forfeit at 160 pounds.
Scottie Eastes of Hillsboro wrestled up to 170 pounds and took on Jared Kuhn, winning 14-13.
“Scottie has just gotten back into the room, and he had to dig deep and gut one out late,” Rhoads said. “We truthfully controlled the entirety of the match, and the score does not show that. We had multiple attempts to lock our opponent down for a fall, however, we didn’t adjust properly at the right times to make that happen. We are not even close to being in shape to wrestle hard for 6 minutes right now, but I liked the heart I saw to not give up when we are hurting.”
The last match of the night was at 182 with Ryan Mau of Hillsboro wrestling Brayden Kettles. Kettles won the match by fall.
“Ryan is giving up a lot of weight, like most of our kids currently are, but he never backs down and has improved his positioning greatly over the last two years,” Rhoads said. “He is wrestling bigger kids, which will pay dividends when we get down to weight and wrestling kids our own size.”
There was a junior varsity match at the end of the dual with Lane Wilson of Hillsboro taking on DJ Lyons. Lyons ended up winning the match by fall.
“This is Lane’s first year wrestling, and we really excited about where he is with less than one month of practice,” Rhoads said. “He does not give up and he isn’t scared to open things up. We have a few small items to coach upon, and then I think we will really start to improve quickly.”
Rhoads added, “I would like to thank the parents and fans for being understanding of the special constraints placed on not only attending meets but even practices. We had a great turnout last night and hope to see that continue. We are starting to see years of hard work start to show itself, with solid numbers and teams in both the junior high and high school teams. We are missing 4 or 5 kids out of our lineup right now, and that hurt us tonight.
“We push the message that to succeed in life and in wrestling, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Push yourself past where you start to get tired, take chances and opportunities when they come up, do not sit back because you’re scared. They showed that to us tonight, and they are changing a culture in the room that will be around for years if everyone keeps buying in.”
Submitted by Greg Rhoads.