WINDHAM—The Scots picked up a 42-30 dual-meet victory at the Eagles on Wednesday evening, Dec. 20, thanks to wins by Andrew Thomas, Anthony Mason, Caleb Frost, and Tyler Fitz.
“Typically I don’t like to talk in the negative, but I feel like they came out flat today,” Windham head coach Jason Dryburgh said of his kids. “Bonny Eagle was in the right mindset: They came out, they were aggressive – more so than my student-athletes. It’s back to the drawing board, take what we learned and digest it, and move forward.”
“I think so,” Bonny Eagle head coach Greg Gonyea said, asked if his kids came out hungry enough for his liking. “I think we were ready to wrestle. I don’t know if [Windham was] flat – but the guys that we have were ready to go.”
Asked what allowed the Scots to emerge triumphant, Gonyea said simply: “Just hard work at practice.”
The meet began at 170 lbs, where Thomas needed just 17 seconds to pin Windham’s Connor Getchell. Chris Rankin (BE) and Sam Dubuc (Windham) then wrestled an exhibition bout, with Rankin triumphing by pin after a lengthy back and forth. At 126, DJ Pelletier (Windham) bested Dustin Brewer (BE) by pin at 2:12. Mason next took the 132 contest over Josh Barrett in another pin, this one at 5:50. Finally, Frost pinned Kyle Walker at 1:44 and Fitz pinned George Butts at 3:00.
Gonyea praised Frost’s efforts in particular, as well as Fitz’s, Rankin’s and Mason’s.
“It was quick,” Frost said of his match. “Yeah, just quick. I didn’t really know [Windham] at all; they didn’t have a very big team, before. I was shocked to see they got a couple extra guys. It’s always fun to see, because the sport is really downhill. I’m glad to see teams getting bigger – like us; we’re getting bigger, better. I like it.”
Fitz stepped through the high points of his bout with Butts: “I took him down, and then I got a couple back points,” Fitz said. “In the first period, I think it was, like, 7-0 – going into the second. Then I picked bottom, and he actually held me down longer than I thought he would. I got an escape, then I got a takedown; then I pinned him, like, halfway through the second.”
“The best match we had tonight was DJ Pelletier,” Dryburgh said. “He did a lot of off-season work, which is starting to pay dividends. He’s starting to come into his own – there’s a level of confidence, and with that, he’s also becoming a leader on the team.”
“They were willing to attack and push a lot of the offense,” Dryburgh said, asked what his kids were doing right. “What I try to have them do is focus on keeping their heels in the center of the ring and work their way out, as opposed to being passive and having your heels at the end of the ring…I saw a lot of wrist control, and heavy hands – heavy hands meaning you’re pulling on your opponent, you’re trying to weigh down on him through the whole entire match.
“But at the end of the day, Bonny Eagle was a little more hungry.”
Team scores should be taken with a grain of salt, of course. Since many schools – including Bonny Eagle and Windham – don’t have wrestlers at every weight, most meets involve a number of forfeited matches. What largely matters are individual performances, and preparation for the big, end-of-season conflagrations, i.e., Regionals and States.
“Obviously, when you aren’t able to fill a weight, it plays a big role,” Dryburgh said. “They had more weight classes filled. Unfortunately, we don’t have a 106 or 113. We’re filled all the way up to 182; 195 right now is injured, our 220/285 is injured – that’s four weight classes.”
“We did good,” Fitz, a senior, said. “Definitely everybody can still improve. We’re working on our basics still. Once we get those down, we’ll be a pretty tough team, even though we’re a pretty light team – not many kids. The kids that we have are pretty solid.”
For his part, Fitz seems determined to make something of the season: “Freshman year, I did pretty good; sophomore year, I got upset at Regionals – so, I lost, didn’t make it to States; last year didn’t go as planned either. So this year, I’m trying to get it done.”
Windham travels to Fryeburg on Dec. 27. Bonny Eagle will participate in the Noble Invitational, slated for Dec. 29-30.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CurrentSportsME.
Bonny Eagle’s Andrew Thomas and Windham’s Connor Getchell lock horns.
Scot Chris Rankin wraps up Eagle Sam Dubuc.
DJ Pelletier of Windham tries to upend Dustin Brewer of Bonny Eagle.
The Scots’ Anthony Mason catches the Eagles’ Josh Barrett off-balance, and throws him to the mat.
Bonny Eagler Caleb Frost attacks Windhamite Kyle Walker.
Tyler Fitz of Bonny Eagle gets leverage on Windham’s George Butts.