The Smyrna Middle School wrestling team overcame Phillis Wheatley Middle School 66-12 Thursday night at home in what was expected to be one of team's toughest matches of the season.
Smyrna improved to 4-0 on the season with the win. Phillis Wheatley fell to 2-1.
SMS head coach Steve Stewart previously declared the match to be the "match of the decade" as Smyrna had narrowly beat Phillis Wheatley last year by six points during the season and then tied them in the conference tournament.
On top of that, Stewart said Smyrna only had four returners versus Phillis Wheatley’s nine. Going into the match, Stewart said they had a team discussion where the coaches simply told the wrestlers to “give it all they got.”
Even though the match was expected to be tough, Smyrna Middle School had a tad bit of momentum going for them as they were on a 102 match-winning streak.
"I'm surprised, I thought it was going to be a lot closer match than that," Stewart said. "I'm happy as always, I'm always happy to get a win."
Stewart said a key point in the match for Smyrna is the fact that they started with the early weight classes, starting with 76 pounds. “It gave us a chance to see what they got. They’re strong in the lower weight classes. We started low and as we got into the higher weight classes, we knew we’d do well,” Stewart said.
Smyrna Middle School posted eight pins on the day out of the 16 weight classes. The fastest pin on the afternoon came from team captain Kalen Wilson, eight grade, who pinned his opponent in 22 seconds.
“We knew if we stayed off our backs and got pins that we could win,” Wilson said. “Every weight did good. Even the people that lost, it was close and they didn’t let it bother them. They didn’t get upset they lost. It was a good meet.”
SMS seventh grader and team captain Eli Hutchinson, who also won by pin, said the team thought it was going to be harder than it was. He said a key factor in the win for Smyrna was that they only gave up one pin when in the past they’ve given up two or three pins to Phillis Wheatley.
“We did really great. The guys came in, did their jobs on the mat and we won,” Hutchinson said.
As for the rest of the season, Stewart said it’s too early to tell how the team will do against other teams.
Page 2 of 2 - Wilson added that he believes the team has a chance to have another undefeated season but they have a tough match against Chipman Middle School later this month.
“We just want to wrestle one meet at a time and try not to think too far ahead,” Wilson said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.