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Arlington grapplers down Knights
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Eagles wrestling team came out on top with a 45-30 victory after its throw-down with the Kamiak Knights on Dec. 17.
The Eagles fell behind the Knights in the match but rallied midway through, improving their undefeated record to 3-0.
It was the lighter weight classes that saved the match for Arlington, after the Eagles fell behind on points due to a series of pins from the Knights.
The match started off in the 152-pound weight class with Arlington’s Scotty Bardell taking the mat with Kamiak’s Spencer Mitchell. Bardell got the decision over Mitchell, giving the Eagles a lead, with the score at 4-0.
The Knights quickly caught up with the Eagles, scoring a pin in the 160-pound weight class when Kamiak’s David Bikoev pinned Arlington’s George Spady. The Eagles trailed the Knights.
“We knew Kamiak started getting really tough at 160 pounds,” Arlington Head Coach Rick Iversen said. “They knew we were tough in the lower weights.”
The Eagles suffered another pin, in the 170-pound weight class, when Arlington’s Ivan Garcia was pinned by Kamiak’s Tyler Webley. The Eagles were trailing 12-3.
The intensity of the match reached its peak in the 182-pound weight class when Arlington’s Jake Ferro battled Kamiak’s Connor Mitchell.
Ferro scored a takedown in round one, but Mitchell was able to score as well. The two of them tied in round two, but Ferro won the decision. The Eagles began to catch up, with the score at 12-6 but still behind.
As the Eagles tried to rally, another tough pin set them back. Arlington’s Brice Clariday was pinned by Kamiak’s Michael Powell.
The Eagles were in trouble when Kamiak got ahead, with a lead of 24-6, after scoring pins.
“They were a very disciplined team,” Iversen said. “They wrestled in good position, and they all wanted a pin.”
The Eagles countered the Knights’ lead with six pins of their own.
In the 106-pound weight class, Arlington’s Trey Swanson pinned Kamiak’s Kyle James, allowing the Eagles to catch up with the score at 24-18.
Swanson’s pin was followed up by another pin by Arlington’s 113-pound Jeremy Nygard, which brought the match to a tie at 24-24.
Kamiak had one more lead, 30-24, when they earned their last pin of the night.
Arlington’s 126-pound Clayton Hunter brought another tie for Arlington when he pinned his opponent.
“I just went out there aggressive and it worked,” Hunter said.
The Eagles led again, 36-30, when they secured another pin with 136-pound Parker Spady taking down and pinning his opponent.
Heading into the final match, it was do or die for the Eagles.
In the 138-pound weight class, Arlington’s Conner Gonzalez took on Kamiak’s Mark Bienick in three competitive rounds. Gonzalez took the lead in round one, but Bienick caught up in the next rounds, especially in round three. As a result, Gonzalez won a narrow decision and sealed the win for Arlington, with the score ending at 45-30.
Iversen commended the efforts of Kamiak in the close match.
“It just worked out where we got a little edge in the numbers. That’s it,” Iversen said. “They have a real fine team, and they’re going to win a lot of matches.”
After the close victory, Iversen hoped the Eagles can do what they do best for the remainder of the season. “I hope we continue to pin people,” Iversen said. “Our team almost has a 50 percent pin average.”
As of Dec. 17 Arlington’s current overall record is 3-0.