Laurel – Most wrestling coaches know matches don’t always go as planned and that was the case Wednesday night as both teams were without their top wrestler heading into the dual meet between Caesar Rodney and Laurel. Neither the Bulldogs Stanley Pete, ranked number one at 150 pounds, nor Trevor Copes ranked number one at 126 pounds were to step on the mat.
So both coaches had to move to plan B. The Riders plan B consisted of getting pins in the matches they were favored to win, seven of them which led to Caesar Rodney’s 42-33 victory.
“We found a way, we had adversity tonight, some things didn’t go as I had planned and we fought for the team,” Caesar Rodney head coach Trey Mitchell said.
The Riders started off with a pin from Ben Donato at 106 pounds, but the Bulldogs answered with back to back pins from Kade Wooten at 113 pounds and Macario Perez-Soriano at 120 pounds.
Cole Moffett bumped up to 126 pounds where he recorded a pin in 1:36 to tie the match 12-12.
It was the next three matches where Laurel was favored, but the Caesar Rodney wrestlers were able to stave off pins and reduce the damage on the scoreboard.
Laurel’s Connor Smith won a 16-6 major decision over Alex Batton at 132 pounds followed by Kenyan Littleton’s 12-3 major decision over Braedon Bole at 138. 144 pounds featured the closest match of the night with Landen Messick winning a 2-0 decision over Jaden Dean giving Laurel a 23-12 lead.
“Sometimes there is a win in a loss when you go out there and shave points and you find a way. You know they are expecting their guys to get six just like we expect our guys to do. They fought for the team and the hard work in the room showed tonight,” Mitchell said.
Craig Dixon stopped the Laurel run with a 21 second pin at 150 pounds. Xavier Limehouse answered with a 13-2 major decision at 157 pounds as the Bulldogs built a 27-18 lead before the Riders upper weights stormed the mat.
Caesar Rodney recorded four consecutive first period pins to give the Riders the lead for only the second time in the match. Logan Heffington (165) recorded a 48 second pin, Craig Dixon (175) had a pin in 1:10 followed by a 27 second pin by Brent Polk (190) and Owyn Meister capped off the run with pin in 1:27 at 215 pounds to give Caesar Rodney a 42-27 lead and seal the match.
“There wasn’t really much time to wait. It was like one then another, then another and I was out there,” Meister said
Joseph Baynard ended the night with a pin in 59 seconds at 285 pounds.
Caesar Rodney is now 1-0 on the season and will wrestle at the Adam Jenet Tournament at the Gilman School in Baltimore on Friday, December 28.
Laurel fell to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Henlopen South. The Bulldogs next match will be at Sussex Academy on Wednesday, January 3.
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