Watauga's wrestling team beats Patton
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
MORGANTON -- Watauga's 106-pound class wrestler Alex Wentmore had one basic task in his match, which was the final in the Pioneers' dual match with Patton.
Don't get pinned.
Watauga went into Wentmore's match leading by five points. If Wentmore got pinned, Patton would have scored six team points and taken the match by a point.
Wentmore did his teammates one better than his task. Not only did Wentmore avoid getting pinned, he posted a 10-5 victory.
Wentmore's victory gave the Pioneers three more points and a 34-25 win over host Patton Tuesday in the school's auxiliary gym. The Pioneers improved to 1-3 in dual matches in the Northwestern Conference.
Wentmore built his lead on Patton's Dante Norwood by receiving three points for each of his three near-pins. Wentmore, who did not practice Monday because of illness, was unaware that he had to avoid being pinned.
Instead, it just went out and wrestled his match.
"I didn't notice," Wentmore said. "I always try to win. I couldn't practice but I jumped rope and did some jumping jacks and road the bike."
Watauga's upper weights helped push the Pioneers to a win. Trailing 22-19, Watauga's Elijah Presnell won by a forfeit at 195 pounds, and Jacob Rutz pinned Patton's Hunter Segals in just 46 seconds to put the Pioneers in front 31-22.
Watauga heavyweight Jeremiah Wooldridge lost a 2-1 match to Chandler Laws that brought Patton to within 31-25, but Wentmore's win solidified the team victory.
"We had some key wins where we needed them," Watauga coach Todd Allen said. "The heavier weights did well. Jeremiah almost pulled it out in the end, but they did well."
Watauga's Mark Townsend, wrestling at 120 pounds, nearly pinned Cody Patton before winning 7-3.
Watauga got back-to-back pinfalls from Demetre Kostis at 133 pounds, and from Zack Tomer at 138 pounds. Jake Irwin also beat Wesley Cooke 16-2 at 171 pounds.
Watauga wrestles again at Hickory on Friday.