Williamson tops Canton to win NTL
CANTON - A year ago, the Williamson Warriors captured the NTL small-school wrestling title.
This year, they wanted to go a step further. Not only were they hoping to win the small-school crown, they wanted to have the best record overall in the NTL.
After Thursday's 40-33 victory over Canton the Warriors accomplished their goal, having run up an unbeaten NTL record with just one match remaining in the league.
"Winning the league title is something I've never done, it was the first NTL title for the school, and we are still undefeated in the NTL," Logan Everett said. "Especially as a senior it's very special."
For Williamson it's the first time they will finish with the best overall record in the NTL. They did share the overall title in the league in 1977 coach Mark Everett said.
For Williamson, there are a lot of things they wanted to accomplish this year and this was the first thing on that list.
"We have a lot of big goals this year," Logan Everett said. "We wanted to win the league. We want to win sectionals and district duals wise, we will see, we don't know who we wrestle yet."
For the wrestlers on this year's team it will be a great feeling seeing the league championship banner on the wall in the future.
"No one else has done it, we made history," Herman Briggs said.
"It's going to be great to come back in 30 years and see it up there," Logan Everett added.
On Thursday things started well for Williamson as R.C. Hunter started the match at 170 with a pin of Josiah Bardo in 1:32.
After that Canton took control, rolling off 26 straight points to take a 26-6 advantage.
The Canton run started at 182 as Tyler Cole won by major decision 10-0 over Mark Brennan and at 195 Garrett Wesneski pinned John Nevius in 1:06.
At 220 Connor Route of Canton pinned Austin Moore in 1:15 and at 285 Brady Bryington of Canton kept the run going with a pin of Dakota Bolt in 2:34.
At 106 Dennis Route of Canton won by major decision 10-2 over Caleb Robbins to increase the Canton lead to 20 points.
While Williamson knew that many of their top wrestlers were coming up, the kids knew the pressure was on facing a big deficit.
"I was a little nervous," Logan Everett said. "At that point you know you have to get the max points. It's not about worrying about yourself, you just have to get the max points for the team."
Tyrus Hamblin got a win by forfeit at 113 as the deficit was cut to 26-12 and at 120, Carl Gorg started the Williamson run pinning Brennan Glecker in 1:59 to cut the deficit to 26-18.
"I tried to stay off my back and work on my feet," Gorg said. "I knew it was important to get bonus points."
Briggs followed with a pin at 127 defeating Dylan Marbaker in 2:52.
As Briggs got the fall to cut the deficit to 26-24 the Williamson bench erupted in cheers as Briggs pumped his fist on the mat.
"I was very excited," Briggs said. "I knew it was big. I knew I had to get bonus points. Afterwards, that was one of the best feelings."
Trevor McWhorter followed with a pin in 2:29 over Brendon Cohick at 132, before Everett pinned Darren Killian in 36 seconds at 138 as Williamson ran of 30 straight points to go up 36-6.
With district duals coming up, Logan Everett knows that it's good to get pushed like this to see how the team responds.
"When it comes around and you are down and you can come back, it's exciting," Logan Everett said. "It is good to see what you are going to do when you face adversity. It's good to push yourself in different situations. It sets us up to know what we have to do."
At 145, Canton got a win as Brooks Gleckner won 11-5 over Garrett Heffner to cut the deficit to 36-29 with two matches left.
Billy Barnes closed out the match at 152, winning by major decision 15-1 over Travis Butcher.
Canton's Jacob Butcher won by major decision 11-3 over Mike Presto at 160 to close out the match.
Williamson knows they will host a district duals match next Wednesday, however their opponent is yet to be determined.
"This year I don't think we go into any meet thinking we don't have a chance," Logan Everett said. "Some teams are tough matchups like Central (Columbia) and Western Wayne, but I think we feel like we have a chance in every match."