CLAYTON — A crowd in excess of 300 people jammed into the middle school gymnasium Friday night as the Northmont varsity wrestling team hosted its annual wrestling premier.
The middle school teams also competed on a separate mat in the south end of the gym.
The varsity Bolts went head-to-head with Wayne and National Trail for a total of 23 contested matches. Northmont dominated both schools winning six of eight matches against National Trail and 11 of 15 matches against Wayne.
To their credit, the Warriors were missing eight team members due to the Wayne football team’s involvement in the state football playoffs.
The Thunderbolts came out and won the first five matches of the evening. That set the tone for the rest of the premier.
Luke Holloway scored a pin of 36 seconds against Cade Carter of National Trail to get Northmont off to a solid start.
Chad Craft pinned Wayne’s Mason King in one minute, 25 seconds (1:25) and Chase Craft followed with a pin of 57 seconds over Cole Clyne of Wayne.
Ezra Smith scored an 11-4 decision against Robert Nave of National Trail.
Josh Winston capped the five match opening win streak by pinning Jonathan Hoover of Wayne in 1:34.
National Trail’s Josh Cook snapped the streak with a 4-0 decision over Weston Hoening. Wayne’s Jordan Hardrick followed with an 8-5 decision over Solomon Miller.
Bryan Heyward got the Thunderbolts back in the win column with a 40 second pin against Donnie Pegg of National Trail.
Gabe Newburg had to battle hard to earn a 3-0 decision against Keyan Jumper of Wayne.
Fouad Saleh followed with a 24 second pin against Wayne’s Alex Serry.
Not to be outdone, Dylan Moran notched a 14 second pin against Kyle Lockard of Wayne.
David Henson scored a 5-0 decision against Dylan Wagner of National Trail.
In one of most hotly contested matches of the night Chuck Saul battled Wayne’s Tyler Wilcox to a 1-1 draw. No overtime periods are contested at wrestling premiers, with all rounds being reduced to one minute each to keep things moving along instead of the normal two minute allotment.
Hunter Terrill scored an 8-0 major decision over Chris Dane of National Trail.
Terry Roth disposed of Cade Carter (National Trail) with a 30 second pin.
Bailey Smith also recorded a pin (1:45) against Mason King (Wayne).
Wayne wrestler Cole Clyne scored a pin (time not recorded) against Northmont’s Ryan Cisco.
Kyle Roberts scored a quick 20 second pin against Wayne’s Alex Serry.
Tim Sexton also scored a quick pin (13 seconds) against Wayne’s Kyle Lockard.
Wayne’s Keyan Jumper scored a 9-5 decision over the Bolts’ Solomon Miller.
Josh Winston scored a hard-fought 4-2 decision over Zarrick Brown (Wayne).
Quelin Holt scored a pin (1:41) against Cole Booghier (Wayne).
Dylan Hager (National Trail) scored a 4-1 decision over Andrew West (Northmont).
“We have a very young team with five freshmen and five sophomores,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg, who is entering his 28th season as head coach. “We tell the kids that even though our lineup changes every year, the style that we wrestle is to get in our opponents’ faces, be aggressive and score that first take-down. I told them tonight that they only get one chance to make a first good impression and they did that. I was really pleased with the way the young kids came out as well as our veteran wrestlers.”
Newburg stressed that his wrestlers’ main goal is to get the very first take-down in each match. During the wrestling premier the Thunderbolts scored the first take-down in 20 of the 23 matches.
“It’s a good start,” Newburg added. “It’s something we can take back to practice and build on. All of the mistakes we made tonight were aggressive mistakes and those are the kind we like to go back and fix. Our big goal this year is to get this young team up to where they can be competitive by the end of the season. Along the way we hope to teach them how wrestle well at the high school level.”
The Thunderbolts have only two seniors and two juniors in their lineup, so the younger wrestlers will be relied upon to show improvement as the season progresses to keep the team competitive.
Bailey Smith pinned Mason King of Wayne in 1:45.
Fouad Saleh gets leverage against Alex Serry of Wayne. Saleh scored a 24 second pin.
Gabe Newburg had to fight hard to score a 3-0 decision over Wayne’s Keyan Jumper.
Josh Winston pinned Jonathan Hoover of Wayne in 1:34.
Chuck Saul and Tyler Wilcox of Wayne battled to a 1-1 draw.
Quelin Holt scored a pin (1:41) against Cole Booghier of Wayne.
Chad Craft on his way to pinning Mason King of Wayne in 1:25.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind