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Austin Newton, center, goes for a pin against Forest Park’s Josh Thomas as official Mike McCarthy watches. Newton went on to win in three periods on points. Photo by Wade Bell

Ranger grapplers slip past Crawford

On Senior Night, coach reflects on progress young program has made

December 26, 2012
The Crawford County wrestling team had high hopes of getting a win at home on Senior Night last Tuesday against Forest Park. The Wolfpack, however, came up a little short on points and fell to the Rangers, 33-24.

"We've definitely gotten better than when the season began," Crawford County coach Jimmy Ward said. "We've had a few guys progress the way we had hoped. We lost some matches we didn't expect to lose tonight, and we really thought we were going to come out ahead in this dual. So, that was a little disappointing that we weren't able to win it team-wise."

The first match of the night saw Crawford County's Tristan Arnold fall to Leighton Fleck in a pin in the 145-pound class. In the second round, Wolfpack senior Brandon Laswell went the distance with Conner Rohe, winning on points at 160 pounds.

Crawford County’s Brandon Laswell, bottom, tries to roll over Forest Park’s Conner Rohe during their match last Tuesday night in the Crawford County Junior-Senior High School cafetorium. Laswell came out the winner on points.
"Laswell has come a long way since the first day he entered the room," Ward said. "He's a first-year wrestler and he's improving every day, and it's fun to watch. It was really neat for him to have that on Senior Night in front of the home fans."

The Wolfpack also won their next two matches, with Austin Newton defeating Josh Thomas on points and Andrew Patton pinning Landon Fleck. Both Newton and Patton have been powerhouses for the team.

"Newton is 20-2 now on the season, Patton is 19-3 on the season now with their wins tonight," Ward said. "Newton is also a senior and Patton's a sophomore. He's a little animal. He's one of our better wrestlers, and he's picked it up a lot quicker than most kids do. This is only his second year. He's been impressive to watch."

"Austin won 8-6," Ward said. "It was a tough match. We didn't think he wrestled real well. He normally doesn't give up a near-fall like that. I was pretty surprised he gave up as many near-fall points as he did, and that made the gap pretty close. He might have had a little nerves wrestling at home for the last time. He wanted to put on a good show for the family. I think he had quite a bit of family here today. It's a little more pressure, but you've got to get past that as a senior."

The Wolfpack then lost their next three matches. Cody Flamion won on points over Kurt France in the 132-pound class, and Winston Glenn pinned Zach Best in the 126-pound class. The Rangers' Phillip Rogier pinned Christian Mauck in the 138-pound class as Forest Park took home the victory.

"We didn't think we would give up six points with Zach Best losing," Ward said. "We didn't think we were going to give up six points at 132 and 138. We were hoping to have that gap a little bit closer and be able to pull out the team win."

While the Wolfpack wrestling program is still young, Ward said his team has come a long way in the few years it has been in progress. He said he also sees a lot of promise with his younger grapplers. The team has just two seniors.

"We told them this weekend, if these guys today saw themselves when they entered the room the first time, they would laugh and beat the snot out of them," the Crawford County coach said. "They would look at those guys who walked in the first day and think, 'Good, I get somebody today I can whoop on.' They've really come a long way."

"We'll have several kids returning next year, and we're hopeful to get a few more out and get our numbers up," Ward said. "We're happy with the numbers we do have. We're happy with the kids we have out. We'd go to battle with them any time. I think there's a lot of promise there as young as they are and as good as they are."

Ward was also glad to see a vigorous crowd at the team's final home match.

"That was pretty neat, and it's a nice atmosphere here," he said. "It echoes. It's loud when the fans get rowdy. We had a decent crowd and they got pretty loud. We need to give them more to cheer about, though."

106 lbs. - Zach Brosmer (FP) wins on forfeit

113 lbs. - Austin Newton (CC) def. Josh Thomas (points)

120 lbs. - Andrew Patton (CC) def. Landon Fleck (pin)

126 lbs. - Cody Flamion (FP) def. Kurt France (points)

132 lbs. - Winton Glenn (FP) def. Zach Best (pin)

138 lbs. - Phillip Rogier (FP) def. Christian Mauck (pin)

145 lbs. - Leighton Fleck (FP) def. Tristan Arnold (pin)

152 lbs. - Keith Hurst (FP) wins by forfeit

160 lbs. - Brandon Laswell (CC) def. Conner Rohe (points)

170 lbs. - Hayden Fell (CC) wins on forfeit

220 lbs. - Devan Curl (CC) wins on forfeit

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