In front of a packed gymnasium for their first dual meet of the season, Bulloch Academy romped Metter High School 72-12 for their first win of the 2016-17 campaign.
“I was just glad for us to finally get some mat time,” said head coach Andy Tomlin. “We were able to film everything tonight and we’ll go back and find our mistakes to correct them.”
Following an hour and 15 minutes of elementary and middle school matches from BA youth pipeline where the baby Gators only lost one match to Metter’s youth— the BA varsity was put in a surprisingly early deficit.
BA’s Spencer Sharp was taken down by Metter’s Walker Dollar just 15 second seconds into the match. Sharp was then bent into the half-nelson, and cranked down deep to his back for a 31 second pin to Dollar. Just like that, the defending GISA state champs were down 6-0.
Floyd Wiles would respond quickly at 113, taking down Metter’s Emily Espinoza quickly to her back for a 20 second pin and tying the match at six points a peice. But Metter still had life in the lower weight classes with their 120.
Dakota Berry and BA’s Riley Joyce circled each other around the mat, feeling one another out for the first 20 seconds of the match before Berry shot in on two legs and took Joyce down for two points.
Berry rode out Joyce from top, looking for some room for a pin but Joyce would swivel his hips from bottom to prevent being worked down to his stomach. But Berry would put his forearm on the back of Joyce’s head, allowing Berry to sink Joyce’s head to the mat and work in a power-half nelson.
Berry eventually flattened Joyce to his back, scoring the pin for Metter with just 29 seconds left in the first period. Tomlin knows his under 120’s will be a challenge for the team, and it’s going to be a process improving his lightweights heading through the season.
“Spencer needs more weight, Floyd and Riley need more mat time,” Tomlin said. “You’re talking about two ninth graders and an eighth grader. Other than that everything else went according to plan.”
Now down 12-6, BA looked to get back even at 126 with Jake Wasdin facing Metter’s Logan Hendrix. Wasdin didn’t take long to work Hendrix down from a standing position to his back, scoring a pin in just 20 seconds and tying the match back up for BA at 12-12.
From that point on Metter wouldn’t see another point and only one other match would make it to the second period. That match was at 220, where the usual BA wrestler and state champion Tyce Lovett was participating at the GISA All-Star football game and Cross Womack would wrestle in his place.
Womack and Metter’s Jarred Jordan wrestled from the stand up for around 15 seconds before Womack went for an attempted takedown but yielded a stalemate call from the official— forcing both wrestlers to stand back up to the neutral position.
Womack’s next shot attempt would finally result in a takedown, then worked around to the Jordan’s side and forced a “butcher” on his forearm and worked Jordan to his back. The clock ran out before a pinfall could be administered, but Womack would score two back points on the move.
The second period started with Womack scoring an immediate takedown and working Jordan around to his back, scoring the pin in just under 30 seconds. It would be BA’s 12th pin of the night.
“It was nice seeing some of our depth compete tonight with guys like Cross, who’s only a freshman,” Tomlin said. “We’re going to run with it, we won’t falter because we’re missing two of our better guys.”
Jake Wasdin, Kyle Samuels, Hunter Marlow, Lawson Anderson, Billy Tillman, Wilson Joiner, Thomas Bowen and Seth Conner would all score pins within the first period. GC Kimbrell and Jake Nelson would both win via forfeit, with Metter unable to field a 152 or heavyweight.
“This is the first step towards the three-peat,” Conner said. “It’s nice to open up against a GHSA team instead a GISA team.”
BA (1-0) in on the road for their next dual in Savannah to take on Johnson and Benedictine on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.