Story & Photos
By Carl Holcomb
East Hardy Wrestling hosted its first home match in school history last Thursday, but Petersburg and Frankfort crashed the ceremony with team wins.
Petersburg won the trimatch with a 74-6 victory over East Hardy and beat the Falcons 51-25.
[private] Frankfort defeated the Cougars 42-18 in the last match.
“We see improvement,” East Hardy Coach TJ VanMeter stated.
“We hadn’t wrestled Petersburg before and we don’t match up well with them considering our size and weight classes. We had wrestled Frankfort before and there were three key matches I can think of: Charlie [Mellen] wrestled the same guy from the beginning of the season and beat him by six points and lost a 1-0 match tonight. That means our guy is getting better. Nick [Miller] won his match tonight by pin, but down in Frankfort he only won that match 3-2. So that means Nick is getting better. Phillip [Mullin] ended up getting pinned down in Frankfort and he ended up in a tough 7-3 loss tonight. We’re making improvements and that’s what I like to see.”
The Cougars are in their inaugural wrestling season and showed great intensity in front of an exuberant home crowd.
“It was nice to hear that crowd erupt when Nick got that pin, they were really into that match. That was a good match and to hear the hometown crowd erupt for their guy was a special moment,” Coach VanMeter noted.
East Hardy 220-lb./heavyweight grappler Nick Miller went undefeated with a forfeit against Petersburg and a pin in the second period against Frankfort which had the crowd roaring with approval.
East Hardy collected two more wins against the Falcons as Luis Calderon (182-lb.) and Anthony Miller (170-lb) were given forfeits.
The first official wins of the match were seven forfeits between Petersburg (5) and Frankfort (2).
Petersburg’s Zane Thompson (120-lb.) put the first decision win in the books at East Hardy by a score of 6-1 against Frankfort’s Brendon Emerick.
Trent Borror won with an 11-4 decision in the 132-lb. class over Frankfort’s Austin Pumphrey.
The Vikings recorded the first pins of the night in the first period by Hunter Heavener (138-lb.) and Clay Fritz (145-lb.) over Falcons grapplers Jacob Farrah and Chase Messic, respectively.
Petersburg’s Alec Burgess won the 152-lb. class match by a score of 6-1 against Frankfort’s Andrew Crist.
The Cougars took to the mat in the next match against Petersburg.
East Hardy wrestler Luis Calderon was bumped up to the 195-lb. division against Petersburg’s Jordan Hartman.
Hartman got a takedown and pin at the 12-second mark of the first period.
The Cougars first ever win in Baker was a forfeit by Nick Miller.
Miller shook the hand of the imaginary wrestler and pointed to the crowd and scorer’s table with a huge grin while his hand was raised by the referee. The cheers rang loudly from the stands.
East Hardy 113-lb. grappler Marina Stotelmyer wrestled against Petersburg’s Ethan Swick.
Swick managed to get a takedown and a pin over Stotelmyer at 1:29 in the first period.
Charlie Mellen represented the Cougars in the 120-lb. class facing Petersburg’s Zane Thompson which lasted three periods with Thompson getting the win by pin.
Mellen flipped Thompson, but was out of bounds in the first period. Thompson nearly got a takedown, but Mellen landed just outside the circle. In the second period, Mellen earned an escape point. Thompson was caught in two holds by Mellen, but managed to garner reversals. The match ended at the 38-second mark of the third period with a pin by Thompson.
East Hardy 160-lb. wrestler Phillip Mullin battled Petersburg’s Jackson Moomau lasting into the second round, before Moomau recorded a pin at 1:35.
Moomau made a takedown, but Mullin was able to roll out of trouble out of the circle.
Mullin got tangled up and was flipped over as Moomau earned back points and took the win by pin in the second period at 1:35.
East Hardy grappler Anthony Miller lost in the second period to Petersburg’s Doug Morral in the 170-lb. class by pin at the 28-second mark.
The Cougars got their first points against Frankfort by a forfeit for Calderon.
East Hardy’s Nick Miller grappled Frankfort’s Troy Pricer in the heavyweight division.
Both wrestlers made headlocks throughout the first period and were given a warning for stalling as there were no points after one period.
Pricer tried to shoot, but Miller stayed up.
Miller created a takedown and managed to wrap up Pricer with 19 seconds left in the second period for the victory by pin as the crowd erupted in jubilation.
Frankfort’s Alisha Sherman pinned Stotelmyer at the 1:32 mark in the first period.
Mellen faced Frankfort’s Brendon Emerick and battled into the third period before narrowly losing in a 1-0 decision.
Emerick grabbed Mellen’s leg, but Mellen was able to hop to the outer circle and fall out of bounds.
There was no score after the first round with a close fall just landing out of bounds.
Neither wrestler gave up a point in the second period. Emerick earned a point with an escape in the third period.
Mellen made a shot, but the throw down landed out of bounds for no points and Emerick held on to win.
Mullin faced Frankfort’s Dylan Pumau in the next to last match of the night and it was intense going into three rounds with the Falcons winning 7-3.
An escape by Mullin got the scoring started, then Pumau notched a takedown.
Both wrestlers got wrapped up later in the period with Mullin sending Pumau down just out of the circle.
In the second period, Mullin made a good spin from the bottom position, then Pumau countered and flipped both out of bounds.
Mullin earned an escape point moments later to tie the match at 2-all.
Frankfort got takedown points for a 4-2 lead entering the third period.
Mullin made a takedown, but it was just outside the boundary.
Making a good cross-face grab, Mullin flipped Pumau and nearly got a pin, but before the referee could get down to the mat the move turned into a reversal.
Mullin managed to get a reversal later in the match, then was called for a penalty as Pumau held on for the 7-3 win.
The final match of the night was a victory for East Hardy as Anthony Miller won by forfeit for a final score of 42-18.
“I see a lot of young kids that have come a long way since battling us at the beginning of the year,” Frankfort Coach Jason Armentrout remarked.
“They’re very gritty and willing to go out there and attack and wrestle offensively. The 120 pounder gave our 120 pounder a very good match. In heavyweight, Nick Miller looked very good. You know he’s young, his first year in high school, but he’s really come a long way since the first time I watched him wrestle. He’s kind of molded into the high school level and looked really good. I thought our effort was pretty good, but we’ve battled injuries all year. We’ve battled infections and things like that. I’m proud of the boys, they did give their best effort. We’re definitely going to enjoy this week to get better. We have a week to get back to the grind.”
The Cougars have been fighting hard and learning the moves to make better matches and have sights on pouncing to the next level.
[/private] East Hardy travels to Harrisonburg, Va. tonight for a trimatch, then visits the Viking Smash on the weekend.