Tiger wrestlers wallop Warsaw at inaugural Assembly Dual
In front of a Wynn Gym crowd packed to the rafters with high-energy students released early from class on Thursday — the Nevada wrestling team whipped Warsaw High School at the school’s first ever NHS Assembly Dual.
It was just their second home meet of the entire season, and final regular season match, as Nevada doubled up Warsaw, 42-21.
The first varsity match of the afternoon, was also one of the most entertaining, as 113-pound Nevada freshman Brock Marquardt, pinned Warsaw’s Delmar Graves in the fourth round. A perfect bookend to the dual meet came when junior heavyweight Peyton Denney lifted and slammed Colby Stephens into the mat. As the crowd erupted in jubilation, Denney quickly pounced for the pin to conclude the day’s festivities
Second-year Nevada head coach David Hawks, said he’s seen other school’s hold successful assembly duals, and wanted to try it at Nevada. From there, Hawks said he discussed the idea with NHS Superintendent, Tyson Beshore principal Jerry Whalen, and athletic director, John McNeley.
“They were very supportive of it and helped us get everything we needed to make it happen,” said Hawks. “As wrestlers, those kids don’t get to compete in front of big crowds very often.”
Hawks said his club fed off the energy of the crowd.
“The atmosphere was awesome,” he said. “We wish we could do that every time, so we’ll look to try to replicate that the best we can . We’ve been pretty fortunate this week with good crowds. We had a good crowd over at the middle school Tuesday for the meet and the Wall of Fame inductions, and today with the entire student-body.”
Hawks said he might have been most impressed of all by Tretin Raney’s performance at 138 pounds in the lone junior varsity match.
“There’s a lot of nerves in that very first match, and he wrestled really well. Tretin got the win, and got us started off in the right direction,” recounted Hawks. “And with Peyton Denney closing things out like he did with the pin, and kind of sealing it for us — that was exciting.”
Added Hawks: “Up-and down the lineup I thought we wrestled well. Caleb Longobardi wrestled a kid that’s really tough at 220 pounds, Nate Fauquier, who is a two-time state qualifier. The match was pushed to the very last tiebreaker.”
Although, he fell just short, Nevada junior Tanner Gotschall scrapped it out with one of the top 152-pound wrestlers in Missouri — Kolby Estes.
“(Estes) was a state finalist last year,” noted Hawks. “Tanner had his hands full. (Estes) usually doesn’t get pushed like that, and Tanner got to the second period with him. We don’t like to preach on moral victories, but when you can push a kid like that, it’s definitely encouraging.”
Hawks added he was pleased with his squad’s overall performance.
“Overall, I thought the kids wrestled well, but we definitely have things to work on before districts next week. I’ve alluded to it before — getting away on the bottom, being and more offensive on our feet as far as the mat wrestling goes.”
The upcoming class 2 district meet is slated for Friday in Clinton.
“It’s a tough district,” noted Hawks. “I think our district is one of the toughest in the state — with teams like Monett, Odessa and Bolivar, who all very strong this year. So we’re going to have our hands full, trying to get guys to place in the top four, in order to qualify for state.”
NHS individual winners
113: Brock Marquardt
120: Lane Brooks
145: Jaren Powrie
160: Octaveon Bartlett
170: Spencer Hawkins
195: Trevor Olson
220: Caleb Longobardi
285: Peyton Denny
Junior varsity winner
138 - Tretin Raney