Wildcats fall in final home meet of season


Chris Barnett

Mitch McCain takes down his opponent, Feb. 7.

The Varsity Wrestling Team took on the Northwest Lions in the conference championship, which doubled as Senior Night for the Wildcats, who fell 36-25, Feb. 7.

For seniors Evan Estopare, 132 lbs; Brendan Krask, 126 lbs; Tray Martin, 120 lbs; Mitch McCain, 195 lbs and Ben Schroeder, 152 lbs, it was their final time wrestling at EHS.

“Being Senior Night and the Conference Championship, it was a pretty big meet for us,” Schroeder said. “I think that showed throughout the night with how physical we were.”

After falling behind 6-0 following a pin by Northwest, Schroeder answered with a pin of his own to tie the score at 6-6.

“I was able to get the first takedown,” Schroeder said. “It put me on top the rest of the way.”

After Ryan Fowle, 160 lbs, lost 6-3, Zach Seiler, 170 lbs, hit the mat with the Wildcats trailing, 9-6.

After a fairly even start to the match Seiler appeared to have Northwest’s Sean Diedrich, 170 lbs, pinned, but the referee thought differently, allowing the match to continue and enabling Diedrich to finish the match on top.

“I thought he had him pinned,” Mr. Tim Yancey, head coach, said. “The referee disagreed and his thoughts override mine.”

Including Seiler’s loss the Wildcats dropped three consecutive matches before McCain pulled the team out of their slide with a win over Jacob Bender, 195 lbs.

Then the night’s marathon match began between the Wildcats’ Brendan Schulte, 220 lbs and the Lions’ Jimmy Wheeler, 220 lbs.

Tied 3-3 after three periods the match was headed for overtime. The match remained tied at three until the end of the second overtime when Schulte was awarded a point following a technical fault by Wheeler. However, after five grueling overtimes, Wheeler defeated Schulte, 5-4.

“It’s a tough position to wrestle in overtime,” Coach Yancey said. “You just have to take care of business early to stay out of that position.”

In the heavyweight bout Corey Bach was pinned, extending the Lions’ lead to 27-9.

The Wildcats then started on the comeback trail when twins Kyran Hagan and Alec Hagan got their turn.

K. Hagan pinned his opponent in the 106-lb bout.

“I was able to get a takedown in the first period,” K. Hagan said. “Then I just threw an arm-bar in and was able to get the pin.”

Then it was A. Hagan’s chance. He dominated his opponent and won by a final score of 10-0, receiving four points because he won by 10.

The Hagan’s scored ten points together to cut the lead to 27-19.

After the two teams traded wins in the 120 and 126-lb bouts, Estopare was set to wrestle his final match at home.

However, 15 seconds into the bout his right middle finger was gruesomely injured, sticking straight up when his hand laid flat on the mat.

“It was pretty messed up,” Hagan said. “He wanted to get back out there, but he couldn’t move it so he lost.”

]Estopare was not able to finish his match because of injury which gave the Lions a 36-22 lead and put the meet out of the Wildcats reach.

Clayton Wegener, 138 lbs, finished strong for the Wildcats winning 5-2 and rounding out the meet with a final score of 36-25.

Wrestling districts start at Waynesville, Friday, Feb. 14.