Ranger wrestlers take pairPublished 5:36pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — With his team trailing Galesburg-Augusta, 24-22, Cassopolis 160-pound sophomore wrestler Zack Newton didn’t put any extra pressure on himself.
That approach worked as Newton recorded a pin to spark the Rangers to a 51-30 comeback win over the Rangers on Wednesday.
Newton pinned the Rams’ Nate Wilson in 1:15.
The match between Cassopolis and Galesburg-Augusta was part of a quad meet at Cassopolis High School. In its first match, Cassopolis beat the Niles “B” squad, 44-30. The Vikings bounced back with a 51-24 win over Mendon.
“I really don’t let my team’s score affect me because then if you’re down you start getting nervous and you can make mental mistakes,” said Newton. “I keep the (team) score at 0-0. That helps me perform at my best.”
To help him execute on the mat against Wilson, whom he had not faced this year, Newton got some advice before the match.
“I talked to the Mendon guy who wrestled him (earlier in the meet),” Newton said. “He said that (Wilson) was like the Niles guy that I wrestled so I was confident in my abilities, but not overconfident.”
Newton won by major decision over the Vikings’ Lane Wells, 12-2.
Against Galesburg-Augusta, Cassopolis got forfeit wins in its final three matches at 215, 285 and 103 pounds.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys in the lineup and our older more experienced kids are in the upper weights,” said Cassopolis coach Josh Rinehart, whose team improved to 6-4 in dual matches. “We were relying a lot on the older guys and the upper weights to come through there at the end.”
Cassopolis also got pins against the Rams from 112-pounder Nick Baker and 171-pounder Jaylin Lawson.
“Our 112-pounder looked really good,” Rinehart said.
Rinehart said that eight of his wrestlers are first-year high school wrestlers.
“We’re young, but we’re getting better every week,” the Rangers coach said. “The positive from tonight, even though some of our wrestlers lost, there were aspects of wrestling that our kids did a lot better compared to last week.”
Cassopolis led throughout in its match against Niles. The Rangers got pins from 103-pounder Colin Kelley, 112-pounder Baker, 125-pounder Dillon Richey, 145-pounder Jesse Richey, 152-pounder Kelvin Curtis and 189-pounder Tymari Brown.
Niles got a pin from 130-pounder Josh Dayhuff, 215-pounder Cody Thornton and 285-pounder Wyatt Thornton.
It was the second win this year by Cassopolis over the Niles “B” squad. On Dec. 8, Cassopolis edged Niles, 42-39.
“They were tough (Dec. 8) and we knew this group here was a more truer Niles “B” team because they were missing some kids the last time we faced them,” Rinehart said. “Our kids know that we’re young and even though it’s a Niles “B” team we’re not to the point that we can overlook anybody right now. For us, this is another opportunity to get some matches in and work towards the end of the year.”
In its win over Mendon, Niles got pins from 119-pounder Devontae Gaskill, 130-pounder Dayhuff, 135-pounder Dakota Griffin and 215-pounder Wyatt Thornton.