With a lineup depleted in large part due to the football team’s run to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA championship, the Wake Forest wrestling team has endured a few more losses than might have been expected in the early going this season.
Fortunately for Wake Forest, those troubles have not extended into Cap-8 Conference competition, where the Cougars remained unbeaten on Wednesday with a 54-30 victory over visiting Heritage.
Jack Malone and Sam DeLuke, two of six wrestlers on Wake Forest’s roster that were part of the state-title football team, were among seven wrestlers to garner pins for the Cougars (9-6, 5-0), last year’s conference regular-season champions.
“Sam and Jack both wrestled up, they haven’t gotten down to their regular weights yet, and they got big pins,” Wake Forest coach Ed Mutio said. “Being in football shape and being in wrestling shape are two different things, but they came out and performed.”
Malone pinned Joe Vickers in 1 minute, 31 seconds in a 220-pound match, and DeLuke followed with a pin of Josiah Brown in 1:36.
Those wins started a stretch of eight straight individual victories for Wake Forest, the last of those Spencer Cathcart’s pin of Michael Russo in 1:55 at 138 which gave it a 48-6 lead with five bouts remaining, clinching the victory. Heritage is now 11-6, 2-2 in the Cap-8.
They said it
Though the match went relatively as expected, Mutio was especially pleased with victories by Tim Mallo (120) and Joey DeLuke (126). Both overcame early deficits to pick up pins, Mallo winning by fall over Alex Chester in 3:45 and DeLuke doing likewise over Thomas Halvas in 1:11.
“We got some unexpected falls from some of our guys we don’t normally have in the lineup because we bumped a couple of weight classes,” Mutio said. “I thought the pins by Tim and Joey were a turning point for us.”
Virtually of the contested matches were lopsided affairs, but Mallo’s match at 120 was relatively close before he got his pin. Chester got an early takedown for a 2-0 lead but Mallo got a takedown and two-point lead in the waning seconds of the first period to take a 6-2 lead.
Chester’s reversal early in the second period brought him within 6-4, but Mallo got an escape before taking down Chester again before getting the pin.
Six of Wake Forest’s seven pins came in the first period, but it was Heritage’s Charlie Barefoot who had the quickest pin of the match, ending his 170-pound bout against Jordan Eakin in 55 seconds.
Sander Cypher had Wake Forest’s quickest pin. He won by fall over Troy Rice in 1:07.
Wake Forest’s winners
Jack Malone (220 pounds, pin), Sam DeLuke (285, pin), Michael Pappas (106, pinned Ryan Handibode in 1 minute, 28 seconds), Camron Williamson (113, forfeit), Tim Mallo (120, pin), Joey DeLuke (126, pin), Ayush Patel (132, forfeit), Spencer Cathcart (138, pin), Sander Cypher (160, pin).
David Halatek (195, pinned Keland Williams in 5:36), Billy Bosse (145, pinned Quintin Rossman in 1:55), Sheriff Njie (152, pinned Jordan McDonald in 1:29), Charlie Barefoot (170, pin), Nate Lyons 9182, pinned Carson Charlton in 1:48).