Fort Madison proves too much for Trojans
Toughness was the difference between a win and a loss Thursday, Fairfield wrestling coach Steve Miller said, following the Trojans’ 55-21 dual loss to Southeast Conference frontrunner Fort Madison.
The Trojans won a total of four matches in the SEC home dual, with two of them coming by forfeit, one by fall and one win by decision. They forfeit four matches to Fort Madison.
“We won the matches that I knew we would win. The toss-up matches that I always expect to win too we didn’t,” Miller said. “The biggest difference is Fort Madison is harder than us right now, and we’re soft. They’re born and raised hard down there, and we’re just a little soft up here yet.”
The Bloodhounds opened the meet with a win by fall at 195 pounds, but Fairfield 10th-ranked senior Jake Mineart evened the dual up at 6-6 with a win at 220.
Mineart controlled his match vs. Fort Madison’s Cole McWhorter from the start and scored two takedowns in the first period. Holding a 6-2 lead midway through the second period, the senior put McWhorter on his back for a pin in 3:37.
Fort Madison, which is 8-3 in duals this season, received its first of four forfeits at heavyweight to take a 12-6 lead, then won a 6-2 decision at 106 pounds.
Derek Robinson, who represented Fairfield at 106, kept the match vs. Adam Darley close. Although Robinson trailed 6-0 after the second period, the Trojan scored a two-point takedown with 40 seconds left in the third period, then nearly turned Darley over onto his back in the closing seconds.
Robinson’s “never say die” attitude made the match one of Miller’s favorites Thursday.
“There was nothing glamorous about it, but Derek just wrestled,” said Miller. “He never quit and he stayed in there, and that’s the one thing I love about him.”
Miller said some of the Trojan wrestlers, like Robinson, have been raising their level of competition. Unfortunately, he’s seen others who haven’t.
“We’ve still got guys who haven’t changed their level of competition since day one,” he said. “That’s the aggravating thing in this sport ... it’s all mental, and until those guys start raising their mental toughness, they’re always going to be at the same level.”
Fairfield’s lack of depth reared its head at 120-132, where the Bloodhounds earned three more forfeits. The wins gave Fort Madison a 39-6 lead and all but secured the meet victory.
The Bloodhounds upped their lead to 43-6 with a major decision at 138 before forfeiting the 145-pound match to Fairfield’s Aaron Gevock. A pin by Fort Madison’s Brady Petry at 152 pounds handed his team a 49-12 advantage with three matches to go.
Bryce Lunsford claimed Fairfield’s third win of the evening at 160 pounds, topping Fort Madison’s Lane Gray by 12-11 decision. The Trojan carried a 6-3 lead into the third period, then held on for the one-point victory following a flurry of two-point reversals by both wrestlers.
Seth Davisson received a forfeit at 170 pounds to narrow the deficit to 49-21, but the home team lost the final match of the evening by pin.
The Trojans, who currently own a 3-5 dual record, hit the road Saturday with a trip to the Centerville Invite. The first round of matches is set to get under way at 10 a.m.
Fort Madison 55, Fairfield 21
106 — Darley (FM) dec. Robinson (FF) 6-2; 113 — Meyer (FM) win by fall vs. Burnstedt (FF) 0:48; 120 — Seaney (FM) forfeit; 126 — Otte (FM) forfeit; 132 — Hocker (FM) forfeit; 138 — Dunn (FM) maj. dec. Shaner (FF) 15-4; 145 — Gevock (FF) forfeit; 152 — Petry (FM) win by fall vs. Leonard (FF) 1:51; 160 — Lunsford (FF) dec. Gray (FM) 12-11; 170 — Davisson (FF) forfeit; 182 — Charbonneau (FM) win by fall vs. Scott (FF) 5:05; 195 — Baker (FM) win by fall vs. Pugh (FF) 2:22; 220 — Mineart (FF) win by fall vs. McWhorter (FM) 3:37; 285 — Wellendorf (FM) forfeit.
*Meet started at 195