Fairfield wrestlers trounce ninth-ranked Albia in triangular
Fairfield head coach Steve Miller had a stern talk with his wrestlers after their 42-39 dual loss to Oskaloosa to open Tuesday’s home triangular in Fairfield.
His words must have been heard, loud and clear. The Trojans came out vs. Class 2A ninth-ranked Albia in the nightcap with “the right attitude,” rolling over the Blue Demons to pick up a 52-29 statement win and salvage a split.
“I got on them after the loss to Oskaloosa. We lost by three points, and that’s the difference of one of our guys getting bonus points instead of a decision, or that’s a couple of our guys not getting pinned,” said Miller. “But we beat a ranked team after that, and that’s big.”
Fairfield senior Adam Gevock kicked off the dual vs. Albia on the right foot, winning by forfeit at 220 pounds. Seventh-ranked 220-pound teammate Jake Mineart had no trouble moving up to 285 pounds, where he pinned Albia’s Tim Cole in 28 seconds. Then the lightweight duo of Derek Robinson and Mitchell Burnstedt picked up two more forfeits at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively, to hand Fairfield an early 24-0 advantage.
Miller said the big, early lead went a long way toward securing the dual win for Fairfield.
“To get down like that, that’s got to be somewhat demoralizing to a team,” he said.
At 120 pounds, third-ranked Shadow Leshen picked up Albia’s first win of the dual, and Fairfield forfeit its next two matches to cut the lead to 24-18.
Fairfield got expected wins from seniors Ammon Shaner and Aaron Gevock, however, to pull back out to a commanding lead. Shaner needed only 59 seconds to pin Albia’s Blake Lawless at 138 pounds, and the 145-pound Gevock followed with a 15-7 major decision over Hugh Sinclair.
The two wins were part of a big day for the two Fairfield seniors, who combined to go 4-0 and score 22 points.
“Shaner and Gevock both had quality opponents both rounds and really made the matches look easier than they really were. They were offensive and looked good,” Miller said.
Albia won the next two matches to cut the deficit to 34-29 before Fairfield’s Austin Francisco put the nail in Albia’s coffin at 170 pounds. The junior, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing most of the season’s first month, picked up a win by fall over Joseph Sager in under a minute.
“I think that’s only his second win on varsity, so that’s big to come out and get big team points, do everything you can for the team. You’ve got to commend him for that,” Miller said.
Leading 40-29 with two matches to go, fourth-ranked senior Seth Davisson won by forfeit at 182 and junior Brett Scott closed out the dual strong with a first period pin in the 195 weight class.
“I thought we came out and wrestled with a lot more intensity and a lot more heart against Albia,” said Miller. “The team definitely had a lot better attitude vs. Albia.”
In the first dual with Oskaloosa, Davisson won a hard-fought 6-2 decision over Mason Wisse to start the meet. The Indians won by fall at 195 pounds, but Mineart picked up his first of two pins on the day against Osky’s Drea Lamb. Fairfield was open at the 285 class but again received forfeits from Robinson and Burnstedt at the bottom of the lineup.
Three straight wins by Oskaloosa turned a 21-12 deficit into a 30-21 lead, though Fairfield caught the winning bug in the next three matches to retake the lead. Shaner and Gevock both pinned their opponents, as did junior Justin Leonard at 152 pounds, for 18 straight points.
“Good things are contagious just like bad things are,” said Miller. “When you can get on a good roll like that where somebody steps up and gets a big win, it gets the crowd fired up, it gets the teammates fired up. Anytime you can start pouring it on and mentally break an opponent, that is what it’s all about.”
The newfound momentum wasn’t enough to hold off Oskaloosa, which had favorable matchups in the final two matches. Oskaloosa’s Cody Jones pinned Bryce Lunsford in 2:37, and Class 3A eighth-ranked Andrew Landgrebe pinned Francisco in 1:10 to claim the dual by three points.
With the 1-1 split, Fairfield kept its head above .500 and currently sits at 3-2 in duals.
The Trojans are off for the holiday break and won’t compete again until 2013, but Miller believes the next two weeks will help separate the contenders from the pretenders.
“The Christmas break is what really makes or breaks a team,” the second-year coach said. “Some teams are going to stay the same, and some teams are going to work hard and get better. It makes all the difference in the world.
“I’m excited for the rest of the season. I do believe we’re getting better, as hard as I am on this team,” Miller added.
Fairfield’s next meet is Jan. 3 at Keokuk against the host Chiefs and Mid-Prairie.
Oskaloosa 42, Fairfield 39
106 — Robinson (FF) forfeit; 113 — Burnstedt (FF) forfeit; 120 — Caves (O) win by fall vs. McCarroll (FF) 1:40; 126 — Beebe (O) forfeit; 132 — Rutledge (O) forfeit; 138 — Shaner (FF) win by fall vs. Schaffner (O) 3:35; 145 — Gevock (FF) win by fall vs. Simmons (O) 1:29; 152 — Leonard (FF) win by fall vs. Allison (O) 0:54; 160 — Jones (O) win by fall vs. Lunsford (FF) 2:37; 170 — Landgrebe (O) win by fall vs. Francisco (FF) 1:10; 182 — Davisson (FF) dec. Wisse (O) 6-2; 195 — Jones (O) win by fall vs. Scott (FF) 0:43; 220 — Mineart (FF) win by fall vs. Lamb (O) 3:01; McKay (O) forfeit.
*Meet started at 182
Fairfield 52, Albia 29
106 — Robinson (FF) forfeit; 113 — Burnstedt (FF) forfeit; 120 — S. Leshen (A) win by fall vs. McCarroll (FF) 2:44; 126 — Belzer (A) forfeit; 132 — Terrell (A) forfeit; 138 — Shaner (FF) win by fall vs. Lawless (A) 0:59; 145 — Aaron Gevock (FF) maj. dec. Hugh Sinclair (A) 15-7; 152 — Osing (A) win by fall vs. Leonard (FF) 1:15; 160 — B. Leshen (A) tech. fall Lunsford (FF) 18-3; 170 — Francisco (FF) win by fall vs. Sager (A) 0:53; 182 — Davisson (FF) forfeit; 195 — Scott (FF) win by fall vs. Summers (A) 1:33; 220 — Adam Gevock (FF) forfeit; 285 — Mineart (FF) win by fall vs. Cole (A) 0:28.
*Meet started at 220