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First, it was Tyler Turner with a pin at heavyweight.
Then, teammates Lewis Woodard and Dylan Baldwin followed with deckings of their own at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively.
After a couple of major decisions from Jacob Moody (120) and Devin Rudd (138) sandwiched a five-point winning decision by Marc Skinger (132), the pinfalls started to pile up again by Nate Cargill (145), Corrice Davis (170), Mike Laury (195) and Mike Greer (220). Dylan Hydock (160) and Ben Carey (182) also added two more triumphant decisions.
There was even a forfeit to boot at 152, benefitting Connor Welch.
One after the other, the winning bouts came in plentiful fashion Tuesday for the Lackey Chargers, particularly of the pinning nature.
“It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy going around the gym,” said Laury, whose pin in 1 1/2 minutes was second fastest of the night, only bested by Davis in 1 minute 6 seconds. “No, [I didn’t expect us to win like that]. Not to that degree. It’s a great feeling.”
By the time Lackey’s domination was complete, it had claimed 13 of the 14 bouts in a 65-3 overwhelming of the visiting Great Mills Hornets.
This Great Mills team is even younger than Lackey, which is on the rise with only two seniors in its lineup. And Great Mills, despite a 6-12 overall record, was still winless in nine SMAC encounters as of Tuesday.
So, defeating Great Mills was hardly groundbreaking for Lackey. How Lackey carved up the victory was another story.
“For sure, this gives you the feeling that our team can wrestle with anybody,” said Welch, one of Lackey’s seniors. “Winning like that ... I don’t think you expect to win every [individual] match but one. That was a pretty big magnitude of a win. Everyone just got the job done with getting the pins.”
Welch noted that in the one bout Lackey dropped, teammate Mike Moreland had plenty of fight in him against Mamdouh Lattif of Great Mills in an 8-4 outcome at 126.
“We have won a few matches by some decent margins over the last few years, but it has probably been since the early-to-mid 2000s since we have won 13 of 14 [individual] matches,” Lackey head coach Stephen Gilligan said, his club improving to 11-16, 5-3 SMAC. “This kind of win is great for the kids’ morale and confidence, especially since we have been on the losing end of lopsided losses for the last couple of years and even some this year, as well.
“I was confident we would win pretty comfortably but not like this because we have a lot of young pups.”
Laury, the SMAC’s top-ranked 220-pounder who upped his quality tab to 28-5 this season with Tuesday’s pin, added about dismantling Great Mills, “It’s saying, we’re not just going to be pushed over. We’re a team to be looked at. It’s not like we didn’t think we couldn’t [win in such lopsided fashion].”
Great Mills head coach Ben Gill indicated, however, that his lineup was not at full strength at Lackey, sitting four starters “due to some disciplinary issues and one family illness” at 106, 113, 138 and 160. Lackey won all four of those weight classes, including two by pin.
“It was going to be an expected situation,” Gill said of his team taking its drubbings. “However, it turned out worse than it should have. I think the team was struggling with the disappointment from the starters sitting out and the stress of the weight classes being filled by less-experienced wrestlers. We did see a lot of tough matches. We are still very young.”
He added about his wrestlers that took the mat Tuesday, “We put out six first-year wrestlers, six second-year [wrestlers], one third-year [wrestler] and one fourth-year [wrestler]. Unfortunately, our third-year wrestler Tristian Nickless had a shoulder issue and we bumped Josh Culver, our fourth-year [wrestler] from 152 to 160.”
Nickless (145) and Culver fell via pin and a 5-1 decision, respectively.
“Lackey is quite dangerous,” Gill said. “They are tough and have had a lot of good return in the past years. I think we could be at their level in two more seasons.”
While Lackey has improved throughout the season, Gilligan understands that his club has not come of age quite yet. He points to losses against Patuxent and most recently Calvert where Lackey’s youthfulness reared its ugly head.
The Calvert setback, just prior to facing Great Mills, was especially painful. Lackey lost by just a point in a match where it was leading in two bouts when Calvert wrestlers turned the tide by getting pins.
Against Patuxent, Lackey was ahead in four bouts that turned out to be losses, having to injury default in one while the other three saw Chargers wrestlers get caught in detrimental moves.
“I think that our team has the potential to be a dangerous team in the conference,” the Lackey coach said. “We lost two dual meets this year that I felt we should have won, but injuries and untimely mistakes cost us. That type of thing happens with a relatively young team. I believe our team has improved quite a bit since the beginning of the year. I have a lot of kids who have been getting some good experience at the varsity level because our team has been decimated by injuries. Those young kids aren’t quite world beaters yet, but they are really starting to figure out the sport.
“Tackling the big dogs in the SMAC is going to be a rather large task, but with 12 out of 14 starters returning next season, a successful spring and summer offseason will help close that gap.”
Welch, 19-6 for the season as of Tuesday as the No. 3-ranked 145-pounder in SMAC, echoed, “We’re still a young team, so we’re definitely going to be a threat in the future.”