Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 11:40 am | Updated: 11:57 am, Wed Jan 20, 2016.
By AARON KENNEDY firstname.lastname@example.org
Rossville head coach Mike Fadness wanted to see his wrestlers performing at a high level heading into this weekend’s Hoosier Heartland Conference Tournament, and that is what he got when the Hornets earned a 51-21 win over the Carroll Cougars in their final dual meet of the season Tuesday night at Flora.
“We wrestled Clinton Prairie about a week ago, and we really didn’t look like we were where I wanted us,” coach Fadness said. “We worked really hard this week to just put some things together, and I like what I saw. They came out and executed everything that we did in practice. I can’t ask for anything more.”
The meet began with Rossville spotting Carroll six team points by forfeiting the 182-pound weight class, but the Hornets quickly pulled even with the Cougars when their most inexperienced wrestler notched Rossville’s first win of the night.
Down 5-0 in the second period, Rossville 195-pounder David Taylor reversed Carroll’s Colby Trapp and then pinned the Cougar three minutes and 38 seconds into the match to tie the meet at 6.
“This was his first career win,” coach Fadness said. “He just came out right before Christmas, had never wrestled before in his life, and he has picked it up so fast. He came out and got his first win, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
“That’s Hornets style,” coach Fadness added. “That is kind of what I brought when I started coaching with the Hornets – a never give up attitude and a toughness. It showed out here. I never count any of my guys out all the way to the last second.”
Rossville took the lead for good with back-to-back first-period pins from senior 220-pounder Kraig Tumey and Hunter Mink at the 285 weight class.
The Cougars earned the first of their two wins of the night when Cody Proffitt pinned freshman Clay Crum with just six seconds remaining in the 106 match. After Carroll forfeited the 113 class, Rossville senior Ty Fadness earned a 4-0 decision over Wyatt Carmack in the 120 match, and junior 126-pounder Austin Erdman needed just 28 seconds to pin the Cougars’ Chase Stearns to push the Hornets’ lead to 27-12.
Carroll cut the Rossville lead to 27-18 when the Hornets had to forfeit the 132 weight class, but junior 138-pounder Josh Guffey made up for it by pinning Ezra Mazurek in the first period.
The Cougars won their second live match of the night when Brody MaCurdy earned a 7-4 decision over David Hopkins, but after Carroll forfeited the 152 class, Devin Hodgen pinned the Cougars’ John Cooper in the first period.
Up 20-2 with just 34 seconds remaining in the 170 match, Ethan Ladd had enough points to win by technical fall but finished his match versus Truman Plank with a pin before it could be called.
Ladd’s dominant victory put the final score at 51-21 in favor of Rossville.
After witnessing his team’s performance versus Carroll, coach Fadness believes the Hornets are ready for Saturday’s conference tournament.
“We have five No. 1 seeds going into conference, which I expected,” he said. “The way my guys wrestled tonight – they looked good. We are peaking. We have about three more practices, and I think we can really build off of this. I think we should be ready to go.”