Smithfiled-Selma's Tyler Talley gets under Clayton's Trevor Loken in the 132-pound match.
CLAYTON -- The first weight class on Wednesday set the tone for a wrestling match between two teams battling inexperience and the flu season.
After a double forfeit at 106 pounds because neither team could fill the weight class, Clayton went on to forfeit four more weight classes – and Smithfield-Selma took advantage to score a 47-23 victory.
The Spartans have been in the same position as Clayton, Smithfield-Selma coach Kristian Stewart said.
“We’ve been in the same boat,” Kristian Stewart said. “This is the most weight classes I’ve filled since early in the season due to sickness and injuries and kids on punishment and things like that. Tonight was nice not to have to forfeit a match except at 106 pounds.
“We wrestled Saturday and only had seven kids. We know what that is like having to forfeit and it’s a hard way to stomach a loss. … What we tried to do was to match up the better wrestlers so they could get matches. I bumped up some of my wrestlers to let some of the new wrestlers get matches instead of forfeits.”
One of those new Spartans was brand new – Ryan Woolever wrestled In his first match of the season at 145 and got a pin in 15 seconds, putting Smithfield-Selma ahead for good at 18-17.
“I kind of just threw him,” Woolever said of his quick move. “I thought he was going to get up, but I just pinned him.”
Woolever, a junior who is a transfer from Florida, was not eligible until the second semester. He got his shot to wrestle against the Comets when the regular starter missed a practice, and he made the most of it.
“I’ve been working toward this all year,” Woolever said. “I finally got my chance to show off and had to do what I had to do. I practice, work out every night and it paid off.”
Hisuan Yates recorded a pin in 1:07 for the Spartans at 220. A linebacker and running back in football, Yates showed his athleticism on the mat against the Comets.
With the score at 35-23 heading into the 220-pound match, Yates sewed up the victory with his pin. A forfeit at 285 accounted for the final margin.
“I always get have the same butterflies before anything I do, no matter it is,” Yates said. “If they put my grandma out there, I’m going to beat her.”
Yates, 8-7 on the season, has recorded all his victories by pin.
A.J. Blackmon (113) and Tyler Talley (132) also got pins from the Spartans.
Despite the forfeits, Clayton was able to put some points on the board.
The Comets got pins from Nick Brown at 120 and Leandre Williams at 126. The Comets’ Dylan Wheeler scored a technical fall at 138 and Clayton got decisions from Chad Sprouse (170) and Joe Justice (182).
“We’re just trying to get better,” Clayton coach Cory Darker said. “They have improved. They are not just out there rolling around. We have just got to keep this team together and work hard to get better for next season.”
On Wednesday, the Comets did their best. But the numbers just weren’t there.