The Zionsville wrestling team closed out the regular season on a good night Friday night.
The Eagles topped North Montgomery 47-28 in their final dual meet of the season, and got experience for some of their younger wrestlers.
“You want to win every match, being a competitor, and we had some JV guys step up and perform well against varsity competition,” Zionsville head coach Doug Welch said. “The guys wrestled hard and put themselves in positions to win the match. It was awesome to see those guys step up and it was good experience for them. I was happy with the effort.”
It could have been a tricky dual for the Eagles.
They just had the HCC Tournament the weekend before, and the Chargers are a sectional foe so some of the match-ups may happen again next week.
Welch said within the dual, the Eagles were just focused on what they could control.
“We just focus on ourselves and getting better,” Welch said. “We knew we were going to see these guys again next week potentially, and it was important to go out there and get a win. Hopefully come next week, we see improvement because that is what we are aiming for, getting one percent better each day.”
North Montgomery took a 3-0 lead at 126 pounds in the opening match, but the Eagles got on the board at 132 pounds.
Hudson Harreld got a second-period pin of Chandler Hall to put the Eagles up 6-3.
“Hudson really impressed me,” Welch said. “We have been working on a lot of different positions, and to watch him go out and execute those positions was awesome. They were positions that we need to score on in big matches. They were positions that we had been getting in stalemates, and now we are scoring. Against tough opponents later, we have to take advantage of those opportunities. His growth as a wrestler has been great.”
North Montgomery took the win at 138 pounds, before Zionsville’s Cooper Cecil and Shane Bates won by forfeit at 145 and 152.
Luke Davis and Chase Poynter followed with pins at 160 and 170 to put the Eagles up 30-7.
“Luke Davis went out there and imposes his will on people,” Welch said. “He has done that all year. He has beaten some of the top guys in the state, because he goes out there, wrestles his match and gives his best effort.”
The Chargers got back within 30-25 with three-straight pins, but Cam McDaniel and Jhovany Guerrero won by forfeit and Richard Keesee won by tech fall at 113 to put the match away.
The Eagles start the post-season on Saturday at Crawfordsville for the sectional.
“It’s kind of fun being a coach in wrestling, because there is a lot of tactics and strategy that goes into it,” Welch said. “We just told them to focus on what they do. We practice positions and important things they may not expect to see. We just want to focus on doing our best and doing what we have all year – having a good attitude, giving max effort and hustling.”
The Eagles won the sectional title in 2018 and finished third last year.
Welch said the Eagles hope to bring home the title this year, but also knows the most important thing is having as many wrestlers advance as possible.
“It’s important, but our goal is to do our best and hopefully improve from last year,” Welch said. “There is no pressure. We will just do what we do and see what happens.”