|Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:00 PM
December 11, 2013 | 11:42 AM
Roars and screams filled the auxiliary gymnasium last Tuesday at Corydon Central High School in the closing moments of a dual meet between the host and Crawford County.
Center circle were a pair of heavyweights wrestling toward the final horn.
Corydon Central's Daniel Kimmel was scrambling in his best attempt to hang on to a wide lead.
Opposite Kimmel was Dustin Bledsoe, desperate for a pin in the final minute to cap a comeback attempt.
Members of the Corydon Central wrestling team encourage teammate Dustin Kimmel during his match against Crawford County last Tuesday. (click for larger version)
Through six exciting minutes that drew both teams to stand, cheering from the sidelines, Kimmel survived the battle in the 285-pound class by a majority decision, 14-6.
"That was one of those 'Wow' matches," veteran Corydon Central coach Richard Clipp said. "(Crawford County coach) Jimmy (Ward) asked about our heavy weight, and I said he hasn't wrestled before. It's hard for a heavyweight to go six minutes. He was gassed."
Burning energy in the early stages, Kimmel scored a pair of three-point-worthy near-falls to lead 8-0. The lead grew to 14-4 by the end of the second period as the wrestlers exchanged take-downs, but Kimmel picked up more points with another near fall.
By the third and final period, both wrestlers were giving it all they had. Bledsoe rallied to score a near-fall, but Kimmel was able to escape and ride out the Wolfpack wrestler for the win.
The win by Kimmel concluded the Panthers scoring a quartet of wins by pin, leading the Panthers to a dual meet victory over Crawford County, 61-24.
"All we talked about was being a team and putting forth a good effort," Clipp said. "Some of these guys have never seen a varsity match. Some didn't know what to expect or how it would look. I thought we did well with room for improvement."
Taking command quickly in the dual, the Panthers won the first five live matches (the Wolfpack won the first by forfeit).
Matthew Applegate had to rally after trailing much of his match against Sam Wright at 126. Wright scored a take-down in the opening period, followed by another in the second, along with a near-fall.
The 7-4 lead for Wright heading into the final two minutes wasn't enough. Applegate scored a pair of near-falls to knot the match at 7. In the overtime, Applegate came away with the win by scoring on an escape.
Next for the Panthers were four consecutive scores by pin.
At 132, semi-state qualifier Ezra Paden had one slip up in the opening period of his match. Despite scoring a take-down and two three-point near-falls, Crawford County's Zach Best tallied two points for a reversal.
Paden stayed strong to lead 16-2 by the end of period two before closing the match with a pin in the third.
"At the beginning, I was a little sloppy," Paden said. "He was able to score on me, but I kind of needed that. After that, I cleaned up my act. First-match jitters, but I got it out of the way."
Facing someone other than teammates in practice was something Paden enjoyed.
"It feels good to wrestle someone different other than the same guys in practice every day," the sophomore said. "You get used to one another in practice so you know what each other likes to do, and it was nice to work against someone new."
Following Paden was teammate Colt May scoring a win by pin in the 138-weight class. He had take-downs in the first and second periods before his third and final take-down led to putting Nick Woods' shoulders to the mat.
Another Panthers' pin came in the 145 class with Austin Smith controlling his match against Paul Zemba.
The quickest pin of the night for Corydon Central was by Austin Kopp at 152. It took less than 50 seconds for Kopp to put Marshall Redden on his back.
Crawford County was able to score consecutive wins by Hayden Fell (170) and Seth Fell (182). Hayden scored points in the opening period with a take down then later pinned Corydon Central's Josh Haun.
Seth Fell's victory came against Wyler Taylor despite a first-round near-fall by the Panthers wrestler. Fell eventually changed his position and put Taylor on the mat for a pin.
Forfeits also played a part in Corydon Central's victory. The Panthers picked up forfeit wins at 106 (Mason Kaufer), 160 (Tyler Robinson), 195 (Tristen Blake) and 220 (Noah Pittman). On the opposite side, Crawford County scored a forfeit win at 120 with Andrew Patton being unopposed. Both programs failed to fill the 113 class.
Corydon Central's two-time state qualifier Bailey LaHue sat out the dual meet.
The win is a good start for the Panthers, according to Paden.
"We're a lot better team-wise than in years past," Paden said. "We have more of team unity, and it helps with having better wrestlers. I think we'll do good this year. I enjoy being on the team. A lot of the guys that wrestled last year have improved a lot and will have a pretty good year, too."
Up next for the Panthers grapplers will be a trip Saturday to Charlestown for the Mid-Southern Conference duals.
Corydon Central 61, Crawford County 24
Individual results – 106: M. Kaufer (Corydon) by forfeit; 113: No entries; 120: A. Patton (Crawford) by forfeit; 126: M. Applegate (Corydon) dec. S. Wright 8-7 OT; 132: E. Paden (Corydon) pinned Z. Best; 138: C. May (Corydon) pinned N. Woods; 145: A. Smith (Corydon) pinned P. Zemba; 152: A. Kopp (Corydon) pinned M. Redden; 160: T. Robinson (Corydon) by forfeit; 170: H. Fell (Crawford) pinned J. Haun; 182: S. Fell (Crawford) pinned W. Taylor; 195: T. Blake (Corydon) by forfeit; 220: N. Pittman (Corydon) by forfeit; 285: D. Kimmel (Corydon) maj. dec. D. Bledsoe 14-6.