MANCHESTER — West Delaware has an extra motivation to pile up the pins.
In addition to falls being the ultimate goal in prep wrestling and possession of the team’s pin belt, the Hawks have used those as a way to help fund their program.
“We’re doing a pin-a-thon this year,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said. “They are taking pledges for the number of pins they get. It gets kind of fun when they get a pin and after Christmas we will know how much the kids have raised.”
The Class 2A second-ranked Hawks earned themselves a little scratch Thursday night, recording seven pins in 10 victories for a 51-18 Wamac Conference home dual victory over Solon Thursday night at Seedorf Gymnasium.
The Hawks (1-1, 1-0) earned five falls in the first six matches, building a quick 30-6 lead. Voss said the starting weight fell in West Delaware’s favor, getting a pin from 195-pounder Jordan Bries to open the dual closely followed by heavyweight Carson Petlon’s 22-second fall.
“We came out pretty aggressive right away,” Voss said. “We set the tone in those early matches and I think that got the team rolling a little bit.”
Blake Engel (106), 113-pounder Luke Farmer and Evan Woods at 120 followed with first-period pins. Freshman Jadyn Peyton (138) and 145-pounder Cael Meyer also added pins for the Hawks.
West Delaware has used the fundraiser in the past to help support the program. This season, they have new uniforms, singlets and an overnight trip to the Perry Invitational in January to fund.
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“The last time we did this we had people in the stands making a slot-machine motion,” Voss said with a laugh. “It’s a great way for our fans to get involved in our program and they have fun with it.”
West Delaware added three decisions, including a 4-3 victory from Ryan Phillips at 132. Seventh-ranked Phillips edged No. 4 Zeb Gnida, scoring takedowns in the first and second periods. Phillips missed the postseason last season due to a concussion and this was a good early-season test.
“I honestly think he was that caliber last year. He just didn’t have the opportunity to show it at the end of the year,” Voss said. “It was good for him to come out to win a nice, tough hard-fought match like that. It will give him some confidence moving forward.”
Solon’s fifth-ranked Zack Bevans evened the battles of ranked wrestlers. Bevans scored the only takedown of the match in a 3-2 decision over No. 2 Mitchel Mangold. The Spartans’ Mike Hoyle (220) and Hayden Taylor (126) won by fall and Jax Flynn added a decision at 170.
Solon is now 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Wamac East.
“We didn’t have the fight we were looking for and we talked about all week,” Solon Coach Blake Williams said. “It snowballed on us. … They’re a great team.”
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