Flames rout Fighting Scots, Knights in home tri-match
February 21, 2014 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's wrestling team notched two more wins in its only home competition of the season, Friday night's tri-match sweep of Ohio Valley (W.Va.) University and Southern Virginia University in the Schilling Center.
One week before the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the NCWA National Championships, the Flames avenged last year's loss to OVU with a 30-11 victory before routing SVU, 53-6, in the final match of the night.
In the first match, Liberty Head Coach Jesse Castro had the opportunity to coach against Pat Sole, his former assistant and co-founder of the Flames wrestling program in 2006.
Castro credited 125-pound freshman Tim Nordan for setting the pace in the first match and Chase Boontjer for winning a crucial 157-pound match over a former state champ for OVU.
"He wrestled one of their better kids," Castro said. "He's a two-time West Virginia state champ and I think they anticipated winning that match so that was a key match."
The Flames' 53-6 win against SVU started with 18 points from three forfeits in the 125-, 133-, and 145-pound weight classes and ended with a 7-2 decision by sophomore heavyweight Zach Newton. Liberty gained steam after Eric Woodard completed a technical fall in the 149-pound class to add five more points to the team score.
Flames senior team captain Royal Brettrager caught his opponent with a quick takedown at the start of his 184-pound match and bullied the Knights' Michael Kilstrom into a first-period pin. Senior Aaron Thompson and freshman Charlie Hancock followed that up with two more falls at 197 and 235 to give Liberty three in a row and pad its lead with 18 more points.
The tri-meet victory puts the Flames' team morale and record in good standing as they prepare to head to next weekend's MAC tournament at East Tennessee State University. After Friday's matches, Castro is confident in his team but knows that the next week will be crucial for wrestlers looking to qualify for Nationals.
"We will approach (the conference match) a little differently than a dual meet," he said. "There is going to be 20 teams there. Kids are going to have to place in the top five in order to make it to the national tournament. What we plan on working on this next week and these next three weeks for the national tournament is better conditioning. We've got to work on that last minute of a match. I think we are in good shape, but we've got to get in better shape."
While Hancock looks forward to wrestling next weekend, and has his mind on training throughout the week to improve his technique, his eyes are still set on some much bigger goals.
"I just want to wrestle my best and give God glory and not wrestle for personal desires," he said.
Liberty 50, Ohio Valley University 11
125: Tim Nordan (L) Tyree Gardner (O), 10-2
133: Cory Parsons (O) m.d. Jeremy Beale (L), 24-8
141: Ryan Diehl (L) t.f. Josue Rodriguez (O), 16-1
149: Eli Stewart (O) dec. Eric Woodard (L), 5-1
157: Chase Bootnjer (L) m.d. Tyler Green (O), 14-2
165: Jabari Irons (O)dec. Josh Ferenczn (L), 3-1
174: Keyshavn Ward (L) dec. Austin Antill (O), 11-6
184: Royal Brettrager (L) m.d. Nick Varazashvilli (O), 9-0
197: Aaron Thompson(L) m.d. Kobina Henriques (O), 10-2
235: Double forfeit
285: Zach Newton (L) p. Ben Willard (O), 6:52
Liberty 53, Southern Virgina University 6
125: Tim Nordan (L), by forfeit
133: Jeremy Beale (L), by forfeit
141: Ryan Diehl (L), by forfeit
149: Eric Woodard (L) t.f. Cotter Simms (S), 16-0
157: Travis Trihan (S) p. Aaron Johnson (L), 3:22
165: Alex Cox (L) m.d. Jared Watts (S), 12-6
174: Ryan Ward (L), by forfeit
184: Royal Brettrager (L) p. Michael Kilstrom (S), 2:54
197: Aaron Thompson (L) p. Ranch McDowell (S), 4:05
235: Charlie Hancock (L) p. Bradyn Tuttle (S), 4:05
285: Zach Newton (L) dec. JD Drasbek (S), 7-2