Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 24, 2018

Fairfield grapples with Van Buren and Keokuk

By Justin Webster | Jan 05, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo The Van Buren wrestling cheerleaders are, from left, Bethany Smith, Emily Brown, Madeline Schmidt, Hailey Brown, Morgan Croft, Allison Tucker, Jenna Stiles and Julia Bruckman.

Thursday night the Fairfield wrestling team hosted nearby neighbor Van Buren and SEC rival Keokuk in a triangular in the FHS gymnasium.

The Trojans went 2-0 in their duals, first beating the Chiefs 54-20 and then besting the Warriors 54-19.

In the first dual with Keokuk, Head Coach Steve Miller liked what he saw, for the most part.

“The guys came out and wrestled tough. We handled the matches we were supposed to handle, but we let a couple get too close and I would have liked to win those by a larger margin. Overall, the kids came out good and obviously we had them outmanned because we have more wrestlers than they do but we still beat them in matches.”

The scoring began at 152 pounds when the Trojans received a forfeit. Keokuk got on the board themselves by taking the 160 pound match, before Fairfield’s Carter Spalla pinned his opponent :59 into his match and was followed by a forfeit by the Chiefs at 182 pounds. Fairfield lost at 195 and conceded the 220 pound match, but recovered to collect points in six straight matches from 285-132 pounds including wins by Brendon Lunsford, Jonah Cooper and Stetson Spees. After Zach Barnes lost a tough 1-0 decision at 138 pounds, Saban Simons beat Corey Skinner 8-3 in the final match. The final score was 54-20 and the Trojans got to regroup while the Chiefs faced Van Buren in the second of the three duals on the night.

In dual No. 2, Keokuk edged Van Buren 42-30, although Warriors Head Coach Brad Geohring felt they could have beaten the Chiefs.

“I thought we had a pretty good chance to beat Keokuk tonight, but we had one kid not show up because of illness, we had another where the match didn’t go our way, but all-in-all we wrestled really tough. We won two of the four actual matches, we wrestled well and the kids are improving everyday. That’s all we can really ask for.”

The first two matches were split with the Chiefs taking the 160 pound class, followed by a Preston Buss’ pin for Van Buren just :50 into the 170 pound contest. The next eight matches went uncontested, with five of the forfeits in favor of the Chiefs.

The SEC versus SEISC matchup had one more contest go the way of the little guy when Caleb Stoltz took only :31 to dismiss his opponent Corey Skinner at 145 pounds. Unfortunately, the Warriors lost at 132 pounds and were unable to fill the 138 pound slot, giving the Chiefs a 42-30 victory.

Van Buren didn’t have much time to recover as they faced the host Trojans in the third dual of the night while the Chiefs hit the road back to Keokuk.

Team scoring for the Trojans was equally dominant in the second dual for Fairfield, with them beating Van Buren 54-19, although the Warriors actually won four of the seven heads up matches.

Fairfield collected points by forfeit at 195, 285, 113, 126, 138 and 152 pounds and there was a double-forfeit at 220 pounds, while Carter Spalla, Cohyn Roach-Summers and Stetson Spees won their matches for the Trojans at 170, 106 and 132 pounds, respectively.

Van Buren took wins away from the 182, 120, 145 and 160 weight classes when Connor Helling, Adam Smith, Caleb Stoltz and Tayton Bartholomew collected victories for the Warriors.

The final score was 54-19 in favor of Fairfield, however, it could have been much closer if more than seven weight classes were filled.

Although his teams’ second win of the night was partially assisted by superior participation, Coach Miller felt good about his team’s return to action.

“After coming off of a long break like that over the holiday season and having a lot of time to work in the practice room, you always feel like you might come out a little bit flat, but I thought our guys’ intensity was good. We still have a tremendous amount of things to work on, but overall I’m pleased with the effort and coming out of here with two wins, that’s big coming back from break.”

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