Batesville’s varsity wrestlers squared off with an opponent Thursday (Jan. 2) that reflected what the Bulldogs looked like at the start of the season in November.
Forced to surrender six weight classes, the visiting Switzerland County Pacers were mathematically eliminated when senior Axel Garcia pinned Ryan Stanton 45 seconds into the evening’s first bout at 170 pounds. The score already 30-0 following SC forfeits at 138, 145, 152 and 160, the hosts went on to win comfortably, 54-24.
“This was probably one of the easier wins you can come by,” said head coach Curtis Miller. “We’re not used to receiving six forfeits.
“So we only had to win one match,” he continued. “My goal is to always win the majority of matches wrestled and we accomplished that, winning three of the five.”
Extending the lead at 182 was sophomore Jy’lil Chappel, who’s steadily worked himself into the varsity rotation.
“He showed he’s getting better each meet, by pinning a more experienced wrestler,” said Miller.
The coach likened such improvement to a team welcoming brand new talent on board late in a season.
“At times, it’s almost like bringing on a new wrestler,” he explained. “The more experience a first or second-year wrestler gains, then the next time we face a team, they would (essentially) be wrestling a different wrestler than in the beginning of the year.”
Chappel quickly went up 7-2 on Tyler Lieland before securing the fall with 27.5 seconds to go in the opening period. At 195, a forfeit to sophomore Christian Garcia made the score 42-0.
Another sophomore, Brandon Manning, took the mat against the Pacers’ Alec Boggs in the 220-pound bout. Boggs got control early and put SC on the scoreboard with a pin in 21 seconds. Switz’s Mike Galbreath was then a winner by forfeit in the heavyweight slot, and a double forfeit followed when the lineup turned over to 106.
Alex Murphy, yet another Bulldog sophomore, was up next at 113. Murphy took down Wylden Washnock for an early 4-0 lead, then pulled the Pacer grappler back into the ring to finish the pin in a quick 56 seconds.
The next two classes were forfeits, one going to senior Caleb Bischoff-Niese at 120 and the other to SC’s Austin Wolf at 126. In the evening’s final match, junior Tyler Schaeffer trailed the guests’ Jacob Wolf 7-2 after one period gone in the 132-lb. match. Wolf rallied for five more points before getting the pin with 1:21 remaining in the second.
Senior Jonah Chase, after being sidelined nearly a month with medical issues, was back at his customary 138 but had no opponent for Batesville’s early 6-0 lead. In the same position were classmates Nick Nobbe (160) and JT Linkel (145), as well as sophomore Josh Mobley (152).
As the Bulldogs go into the final stretch of the season, Miller hopes to reduce his own forfeited spots to a mere two. Two more duals appear on the schedule, with Indiana School for the Deaf providing the senior-night competition on Jan. 21.
The Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference meet is at South Dearborn Jan. 18 and the sectional returns to Franklin County Jan. 25.
Batesville (3-19) hosted Franklin Co. Saturday (results not available) and will travel to Centerville this weekend for a two-day tournament hosted by their fellow Bulldogs.