Carroll’s wrestling team notched three straight wins at home Saturday, improving to 9-3 in a season where matches are, so far, in short supply.
The team earned wins over Penn (61-12), Homestead (49-26) and Garrett (40-19) in this year’s Carroll Super Duals, being the only team to go undefeated on the afternoon.
“I think overall we did pretty good and we made some good steps forward, making the best of the situations we have and trying to get them ready for sectionals,” Carroll Head Coach Dan Briggs said.
Briggs, a former coach at Union City, reached the 300-win mark in his career Saturday, despite this season bringing its own unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither Carroll nor Homestead’s wrestlers have competed in a single bracketed, individual tournament this year, with several Fort Wayne area events being canceled so far, including the Bill Kerbel Invitational at New Haven and Concordia Lutheran’s annual invite. Teams across the state have been limited to dual meets so far.
“It’s not worrying me too much,” Briggs said. “We’re still getting matches in and competing against other programs, so I think that’s the benefit is we’re just going to get as many matches as we can and be ready to go. It is frustrating having to find teams to wrestle and stuff, but it is what it is.”
Seven Chargers went 3-0 during Saturday’s meet:
Jared Landez (138)
Ethan Fitch (145)
Evan Ulrick (152 and 160)
Craig McGinnis (170)
Justice Goree (182)
Kyler Bills (220)
Reeve Muncie (285)
Senior Matt Lepper was 2-0 at 195 pounds, while Ben Sloffer (126) and Gilbert Ruselink (106) each went 2-1 on the afternoon.
Bills and Muncie each earned three straight pins, and McGinnis and Landez each earned their three wins with a pair of pins and a major decision.
“We’re counting on our older kids, our experienced kids, to perform for us and score bonus points, but in general every kid has the same job in a dual meet,” Briggs said. “Nobody has any more importance than anybody else, and their job is to go out and wrestle 100%. If they don’t win, that’s fine, as long as they wrestled 100% and we saw that, we can build on that.”
It was the first time Carroll and Homestead met this year, following a postponement of the teams’ originally scheduled dual meet Dec. 2.
Six Spartans notched wins over Carroll:
Austin Crowder (113, pin)
Giovanni Arsini (120, technical fall)
Jacob Miller (132, pin)
Aaron Kistler (152, pin)
Matt Mills (195, forfeit)
Garrett, a sectional opponent for Carroll, went 2-1 at the meet — their only loss coming from the Chargers. The Railroaders ended Carroll’s 9-year championship streak during last year’s sectional, and the Carroll Super Dual serves as somewhat of an annual preview for the postseason.
“It’s important for seeding and to know where we’re going to be at when sectional comes,” Briggs said. “This year we’re obviously not wrestling a lot of them now.”
The Chargers defeated sectional opponent Bishop Dwenger previously this year. They also have an upcoming match with Huntington North scheduled.