Waubonsie Valley savors the flavor of big win
Success is always sweet, but Waubonsie Valley's 45-24 win Friday night in wrestling over host Neuqua Valley was perhaps a special variety — like Swiss imported chocolate sweet, judging by the reaction of the Warriors after the competition.
And for good reason. It was the first varsity wrestling win for Waubonsie Valley against Neuqua Valley in school history.
"I can't even describe the feeling," said Waubonsie's Jimmy Davis, who won at 132 pounds. "We earned it as a team, and I knew this year, this would be the team to do it."
The Warriors were trailing 24-12 when Davis earned a fall in 1:13 that began with a powerful takedown him that was impressive both in technique and for the sound it made as the wrestlers hit the mat.
"That move has worked for me all season and it's worked on a lot of good kids. I knew I had to do something to get us back in the meet," Davis said.
His victory began a streak of six consecutive wins that closed out the meet and sealed the victory for Waubonsie.
Michael Grosch followed at 138 with a 13-3 major decision and the Warriors took the lead for good with Howard Beatty's 15-0 technical fall win at 4:25, which made it 27-24 in favor of Waubonsie Valley.
"I wanted to win this for the team to get momentum," Beatty said. "I knew I needed a pin or a tech fall. I went for the cradle. It's my main move and it worked.
"Coming into this was a big deal for us. We knew this was our year."
Falls by Sean Sarkauskas (152), Jake Laws (160) and Mitch Kroening (170) put the finishing touches on the win for Waubonsie.
The Warriors get right back into competition Saturday with its own Mega Dual. The postseason is rapidly drawing nearer, with the Upstate Eight Conference meet set for Jan. 18-19.
"There is always stuff that we can get better at," said Waubonsie Valley coach Brad Caldwell. "We've pushed from the beginning our aerobic capacity because we want to push the pace and try to outwork our opponents for six minutes.
"But this is a tribute to what they (the team) has done in the (practice) room and in the off-season that we are where we are at at this point."
Neuqua Valley's first win of the evening came from Andrew Geers at 285, a fall in 1:50. The Wildcats followed that up with four straight wins to build up the 24-12 advantage.
Andy Sykes won by an 18-2 technical fall in 5:28 at 106; Brad Schoedel prevailed by 7-1 decision at 113; Justin Killacky earned a fall in 1:00 at 120 and Colten Ratz wrapped up an 11-3 major decision at 126.
"I give credit to Waubonsie Valley. They smelled it, felt it and wanted it and I give them credit for putting it to us," said Neuqua Valley coach Mick Ruettiger. "I thought we were in pretty decent shape the last four matches. I thought it was anybody's meet."
Neuqua Valley returns to action Jan. 11 with a home meet against Lake Park.
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