BRADEN RIVER — It goes without saying that every wrestler wants to win his or her own individual match.
But the stakes are even higher when the opponent happens to be from his or her team’s biggest rival.
Such was the case last week, when the Braden River and Lakewood Ranch High wrestling teams met on the mats for their second dual meet of the season.
The Mustangs dominated the Pirates 58-13, when the two teams met back in mid-December — and last week’s result would be all too familiar for both teams.
Thanks in part to seven forfeits, the visiting Mustangs walked away with a 58-9 victory over the Pirates.
“We’re steadily improving,” Lakewood coach Pat Ancil said. “After the holidays it’s always tough coming back, and we showed some rust tonight. We had to bump some kids around, but overall I’m happy with the way they performed.”
Mike Myers (160 pounds), Jake Goodwin (171), Peter Latham (Heavyweight), Evan Dipsner (103) and Josh Alvarez (119) all recorded wins for Lakewood, while Blake Riley-Hawkins, Anthony Annis, Bailey Sever, Nick Schilson, Lucas Sanchez and Kyle Riley-Hawkins all earned victories via forfeit.
Frank Bianco (125) and Tom Dedona (130) earned the lone victories for Braden River.
Myers started off the Mustangs rally with a tough overtime victory over Caleb Deedrick. Lakewood tallied on seven more wins before Bianco and Dedona captured back-to-back wins for the Pirates.
Although the Pirates didn’t walk off the mats victorious, Braden River coach Dane Trask was pleased with his team’s performance, considering the Pirates have suffered several key injuries this season — including the loss of senior Trevor Barnes, who was expected to be out about a month after tearing his MCL during the PAL Bowl Jan. 8.
Those injuries have forced a number of first-year wrestlers, including Kyle Vaillancourt and David Goerner, who has only been wrestling for a month, to step up and fill in at critical times this season.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries, and, unfortunately, some first-year wrestlers have had to wrestle at the varsity level,” Trask said. “They learn five times faster that way, but they’re still going to get those losses on their record.”
Lakewood returns to action Jan. 22 to Jan. 23 in the Hurricane Duals before the two teams meet again in the Manatee County Championships Jan. 27 to Jan. 28. Now that Lakewood and Braden River are both in Class 2A-District 11, the teams could find themselves having to square off yet again in early February for a chance to make it to the regional meet.
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.