Super ‘scrappy’ By JAMES A. McCRAY III
Calvert Cavaliers wrestler Kyle Hicks was behind on the scoreboard 10-4 in the third period of his second 106-pound bout of the night against Westlake Wolverines wrestler Brandon Logan.
For Hicks, who dropped his first match of the night to Chopticon Braves wrestler Jarrett Arnold, it was not a case of, “Here we go again,” when behind on the scoreboard, but rather a case of, “Time to step up.”
And stepped it up he did, earning a third-period pin despite trailing and suffering a loss earlier in the tri-meet hosted by Westlake on Tuesday night.
“Not to make that last mistake, which would be pinning myself,” Hicks said of his thought process heading into his match with Logan.
Calvert head coach Mike Free called Hicks and the rest of his Calvert roster, “scrappy,” and that scrappy mentality led to a sweep of the meet, 47-33 over Chopticon and 61-12 over Westlake, helping the Cavaliers improve to 7-10 overall and 5-4 in SMAC this season. Chopticon (8-16, 3-6) split the meet with its 60-16 win over Westlake (1-11, 1-7).
“Kyle is a tough kid,” Free said. “He is getting to where I need him to be. I like his enthusiasm and his hustle, and he still has a ways to go, but he is always scrappy and that’s what I like to see in my guys.”
Calvert was scrappy and efficient by earning pinfall victories in 14 of its 20 wrestled bouts on the mat en route to its sweep, including Hicks’ win and two pins from 220-pounder Mark Fowler, who was on the mat for all of 1 minute 46 seconds combined.
“They really impressed me,” Fowler said of his team. “We really needed to beat Chopticon and I feel really good. We have been working hard in practice, working hard in the wrestling room and it shows.”
When asked about Hicks’ performance and the performance of his team overall, Fowler added, “This team is about never quitting. We’re always die hard. If you lose, lose by one point, or if you lose, don’t get pinned and that’s what we went out there believing. We try not to get pinned and always try to be offensive.”
Stephen Reilly (113), Kevin Dorsey (132), Connor Sesso (160/170), Sean Kinney (182) and Jesse Stuart (285) joined Fowler in wrestling to two wins on the mat.
“Overall, I think the kids stepped up in places where I needed them to step up,” Free said.
Fowler admitted of his mindset this season, “I am wrestling with a big chip on my shoulder. I didn’t place at SMAC in my first two varsity years, this is my senior year and I am really trying to become better. I am trying to become a better person on and off of the mat and also trying to become a SMAC champion this year.”
Calvert’s Chris Howes picked up his first varsity wrestling victory on Tuesday night with a pin over Joe Sties of Westlake.
Chopticon wrestlers Jarrett Arnold (106/113) and Larry Cannon (152/160) continued their individual undefeated seasons amid the team’s split.
Arnold picked up his two victories by pin and Cannon earned a third-period pin over RJ Hibbard of Calvert, that after earning a victory via forfeit against Westlake.
Despite the win-loss record of the Braves, Cannon is excited about how another aspect of the team’s season has gone thus far.
“From the beginning of the year until now, I have seen so much improvement,” Cannon said. “Before, they were going out there wrestling and soon as they got taken down, [they] would go right to their back. We started working on, when going out there and feeling like you’re about to go to your back, belly out and be safe. It’s getting them to wrestle so much smarter.”
As far as his season goes, Cannon added, “I am just wrestling tough. [Confidence] is pretty high. It was good that I had a couple of losses [in tournaments] and I could see my weaknesses and where I need to improve, but now is the time to just get better.”
Westlake’s Brian Linder (195) earned a victory via pinfall over Calvert’s Blake Myers and Justin Wells (170) and DaVonte Elliot (285) each earned victories against their respective Chopticon opponents.
Westlake head coach Corey Munn could not be reached for comment by press time.