Green Hope wrestling edges Middle Creek in final bout

Tiebreaker denies Middle Creek 1st win

mblake@newsobserver.comJanuary 11, 2013 

  • Callahan wins 100th match No wrestler gets to choose when his 100th win will happen, if it ever does. But Ian Callahan couldn’t have picked a better place, in front of the season’s largest crowd that included ready-made signs to congratulate him. The junior, who placed fourth in last year’s state championships, has a few more wins left to get this season. “The goal this year is a state championship,” he said. Coach Steve Gursslin said of Callahan: “He goes above and beyond and works out, not only in school but in clubs and in the offseason as well... He’s an asset for our team.”

— Ryan Sollod entered overtime knowing he needed to win – or he’d be hearing about it from “a lot of people.”

Sollod, a freshman, was in the last bout of Wednesday’s home match against Middle Creek’s Kenny Ferrari, with everything on the line.

Middle Creek could win its first match of the season if Ferrari, who had come back from down 2-0 to tie, won. Green Hope could pull out a senior-night victory if Sollod could score first in the sudden-death, minute-long period.

Sollod countered a Ferrari takedown attempt and got the match-clinching win in overtime.

The final score was 36-36, but Green Hope won on a tiebreaker. Green Hope had two forfeits and three pinfall wins while Middle Creek had four (all pins).

“He tried to shoot, and he opened up his arms and I noticed that,” Sollod said. “So I grabbed him, put him in a cement mixer, and he kind of spun around.”

Green Hope (5-8, 3-3) had several other freshmen and sophomores contribute to the win for coach Steve Gursslin’s young team.

“The 28 (wrestlers) that we have, they’re really dedicated and they’re young. So we’re excited about the future,” Gursslin said.

Green Hope led 27-11 halfway through the match thanks to a 56-second pin by Chris Duckworth (138 pounds), a 14-7 win by Josh Hartman (152), forfeit wins by Chris Elias and Mat Mason and a 25-second pin by Ian Callahan.

Callahan, a junior, was honored for his 100th career win.

Middle Creek, at that point, had just an 18-1 win by Kyle Brown and a 1-minute, 53-second pin by Luke Uhlik.

Middle Creek (0-17, 0-5) then got four straight wins to take a 30-27 win as Christian McCloskey (220) pinned his opponent in 1 minute, 39 seconds, heavyweight Ty Guzman won 11-6, Ryan Pasquale (106) won 9-0 and Nick Gazzillo (113) pinned in 4 minutes, 19 seconds.

Gazillo’s late pin for the Mustangs set the stage for an eventful final three matches.

Green Hope’s Danny Hegeman (120) pinned with just 25 seconds left in his match to put Green Hope up 33-30. Middle Creek’s Michael Lisicki (126) answered with a pin in 3 minutes, 36 seconds, and Middle Creek led again, 36-33.

Ferrari forced overtime, but the freshman Sollod had the final say on senior night.

“It stinks to lose that way,” said Middle Creek first-year coach Mike Castle. “But I’m pleased with a number of kids, especially the younger ones, who have bought into what we’re trying to get done.”

Blake: 919-460-2606 or

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