MURRELLS INLET — West Brunswick (N.C.) used depth and several pins in order to win the 4th Annual Sharks Duals wrestling tournament on Saturday at St. James High School.
The Trojans – who usually suit up almost 50 wrestlers – brought half their squad and opened up their championship dual against Conway with three straight pins and later picked up four others in the 48-29 win.
Sterling Fullerton, Kirby Edge and Dylan Darguzas started the match with pins in the 145, 152 and 160 bouts, respectively, for West Brunswick. Fullerton got his with 43 seconds left in the match, Edge’s came with 23 seconds left in the second period and Darguzas’ came with eight seconds left in the third period.
“It put us in the driver seat right there,” Trojans coach Jimmy Caraway said of the pins and his depth. “That helped us out a lot. Dakota Smith’s pin at 195 was big. We try to keep everyone positive and happy. We are really young, we only have four seniors.”
Down 18-0 following the pins, the Tigers were looking for something to stop the bleeding and received help from their 170- and 182-pounders, Devin Tindal and Casey Hughes.
Tindal overmatched his 170-pound opponent in Nolan Scoggins by jumping out to an 8-0 lead before Scoggins scored his first point of the match. Tindal, though, went on to win the match by major decision 10-2 and picked up four points for Conway.
Hughes’ match was a little tougher than Tindal’s.
He jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but his counterpart, Caleb Dispirtio, came back within one in the second period. Dispirtio tied the match just as time expired in the third period 6-6. The two traded stand-up points in the first and second overtimes before Hughes got the win when Dispirtio interlocked his hands for the winning point.
Conway wasn’t able to build off of those two wins, however. West Brunswick came back with two pins and a forfeit win to put 18 more points back up and had a comfortable 36-7 lead going into the lightweights. Dakota Smith got a second-period pin with eight seconds left and Marquis Brown got a pin in 25 seconds for the Trojans.
“We gave up a few pins early and a few pins later on in the match,” Tigers coach Kyle Santmyer said. “We just didn’t have quite enough to come through. I don’t want to make excuses but we’ve been hit by injuries and sickness this week and had four or five kids wrestling at weights they shouldn’t have been. It definitely hurt us today.”
After West Brunswick got two more pins to go up 48-7, the Tigers earned a forfeit at 120 to gain a little momentum before finishing the match strong.
At 126, Kollin Wade picked up a 14-1 major decision win over Porfroio Bautista for four points, Robert Springer gave Conway its first pin of the dual at 132 with 1:37 remaining in his match and Karl Chipman closed the dual out with another pin with 43 seconds left in the second period.
Down but not out
Earlier in the day, the Tigers’ 120-pounder, Taylor Dinkins, wrestled in what was probably the best match of the day.
Dinkins went back and forth with Hartsville’s Brooks Haley all match long. Haley led for most of it, but a determined Dinkins came through in the end.
After tying the match at 5 in the third period, Dinkins and Haley squared off in two one-minute overtime periods. Neither was able to take control and the match headed to a sudden-death overtime.
Haley was on the bottom needed either an escape point or reversal. He made several escape attempts in which he got to his feet, but Dinkins was right on him and headed out of bounds en route to securing the victory.
“I just had to keep my anger down,” Dinkins said of win and preparing. “He chose bottom and I got him. He was just really strong. I couldn’t run [anything]. This is what we prepare for. It all happens in the room. We prepare for sudden-death overtime.”
Wrestling like a ‘cat’
St. James coach Matt Anderson has a tough task in preparing one of his wrestlers for competition.
Josh Varn is deaf and has to use an interpreter when trying to communicate, creating a trying situation for the coach and athlete.
“Its frustrating at times,” Anderson said, “ because he is in crucial situations in matches and you can’t see him. He is on the other side of the mat and you can’t relay messages to him. It’s a disadvantage for us because we can’t go to his side and help while everyone else gets to yell and scream. It’s fun, exciting and challenging.”
Last year, Varn was a spot starter behind Mason Elliott. This year he is the starter at 126-pounds.
“He is a fighter,” Anderson said. “He’s got a good sense for his surroundings around him. He’s got one of them cat things, you toss him around and he lands back on his stomach and is ready to wrestle again.”
So, what goes through Varn’s mind when he wrestles. How does he get prepared?
“I have to learn all myself,” Varn said through his interpreter. “The other team has a two-against-one advantage because they can yell and scream but I can’t hear anything. I believe it is a disadvantage. I should be allowed to have an interpreter to walk around the mat because it isn’t fair that others can hear and I can’t.
“I don’t stop wrestling, I just keep going. I will stop when they tell me to stop because one time I did and wasn’t suppose to, but from now on I don’t stop. Sometimes players will get sick of me because I don’t stop but I can’t help it.”
Just one of the guys
Socastee also has a unique situation.
At 113-pounds, Socastee has two wrestlers squaring off for the starting role in Jordan Hodge and Quin Gammon.
However, one of them plays softball in the spring. That’s right, softball.
Gammon, who is the lone girl on the Braves’ wrestling squad is also the catcher for the softball team. She said that even though she is a minority in a sport dominated by boys, the team is really close and is like a family.
“They all look at me as their sister,” Gammon said of her teammates. “We all are really close. Wrestling is a hard sport because it is just you and your opponent out there on the mat.”
Gammon also uses wrestling to help her get ready for softball.
“It very good for conditioning,” Gammon said.
Contact NATE COBLER at 626-0302.