CLAYTON — Cleveland has its eyes on a big season on the wrestling mats, while Johnston county rival Clayton is in rebuilding mode.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when the visiting Rams won 72-12 Tuesday night in the Comets’ gym on a night when not a single match went the distance.
Cleveland, a member of the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference which has its first senior class this year, improved to 3-2 while Greater Neuse River 4A member Clayton fell to 0-2.
“Our guys did a good job,” Cleveland coach Scott Riley said. “It’s early in the year. But we’re better than we were last week. For the most part everyone came out and did what he was expected to do.”
The Rams scored 10 pins and won two matches by default, while the Comets got back-to-back pins at 160 and 170 after falling behind 48-0.
“Almost all our kids are brand new,” Clayton coach Corey Baker said. “Some of them have been wrestling for 26 days. We’re just trying to get better.”
Cleveland sophomore Adam Collins had the fastest pin of the night at 113, stopping the Comets’ Logan Pearce in 27 seconds.
“I saw his leg come up after we were tied up, and I just did what we usually do and took the advantage,” said the sophomore Collins, who recorded his quickest career pin. “It felt really good.”
Sophomore Chad Sprouse had the next quickest for Clayton at 170, finishing Quinton Ross in 47 seconds.
For Cleveland at 182 Blaine Bryant pinned Michael Lines in 1:21 and at 220 Holden Bohannon stopped Grant Foster in 1:38.
“I’m not as smooth as I should be coming off the football season,” said Bohannon, who has won two straight conference titles and was third in the state last year at 220 and is hearing from Division II colleges about both wrestling and football. “It was a really good match. I just worked what I knew.”
Rams heavyweight Bryer Rogers pinned Chris Lopes in 2:52 in Rogers’ very first wrestling match.
“He’s had only had one day of practice, so that was good to see,” Riley said of his big man.
Also for the Rams at 132 Josiah Evans stopped Luis Martinez in 3:23, at 106 Ryan Flores got his first career victory by pinning Christian Prescott in 3:27, at 145 Clayton transfer Javante Moon stopped Daniel Smith in 3:53, at 138 Dakota Hill pinned Dylan Wheeler in 4:11, at 126 Derrick Applewhite stopped Leandre Williams in 4:30, and at 152 Josh Williams pinned Josh Chamblee in 4:35.
For Clayton at 160 Gabe Tackles pinned Shane Pilkington in 4:30, with Sprouse’s first victory immediately following.
“I felt really good,” Sprouse said. “I was thinking I had to win because my best friend had just won. I was 1-17 last year, and I worked real hard over the summer. I just kept practicing. After the pin I was like ‘Thank you God!’ I needed this.”
Cleveland’s 120-pounder Bryan Collins and 195-pounder Jacob Pickering each won by default.