Trey Reese’s pin in his 132-pound match gave Oak Ridge the lead for good Wednesday as Oak Ridge wrestling opened the Delta River League season with a 49-16 dual meet victory over visiting Jesuit.
Reese’s win started a stretch of victories in which Trojans won seven of the final eight matches. Oak Ridge benefited from four Marauder forfeits that denied Keaton Subject (170), Preston Dean (220), Cameron Miller (148) and Eric Rohrer (195) mat time.
Despite those points (24) secure in Troy’s back pocket, Wednesday’s dual was close after six matches. Oak Ridge had Dean’s forfeit, Xavier Lopez’ 5-2 heavyweight decision and Andrew Gularte’s 8-6 overtime win at 120s but still trailed 13-12 as Reese checked in.
Close early, Reese held a 5-1 advantage on Brandon Dishno before he turned the Marauder for a third-period fall and the go-ahead points.
“I was watching the earlier matches and saw their wrestlers getting gassed toward the end so I took it easy and waited for the right time to take charge and get the points,” Reese said.
Conditioning played a major role in Wednesday’s win, something Trojan coach Casey Rhyan alluded to after the match.
“It (conditioning) really showed. We just outworked them — especially in the close matches. The kids really worked hard this fall and you can see the difference in strength and bodies,” Rhyan said.
A forfeit boosted Oak Ridge’s lead and the home team extended behind Taylor Ellerman’s (145) 9-2 decision, Anthony Gomez’ (152) pin and another Jesuit forfeit.
At 182s, Huge Ellerman placed himself in the race for most Delta River League takedowns — registering eight en route to his 18-7 major decision.
“I just tried to get as many points off neutral (standing) as I could,” Hugh said. “If I couldn’t turn him I’d let him go. I’ve wrestled him before and he’s flexible, lanky and hard to pin.”
Hugh’s win gave Oak Ridge a commanding 43-16 lead and another forfeit ended the evening.
“We knew it’d be close in the lightweights but I’m surprised and happy at how well our lightweights did,” Rhyan said. “We’re solid at every weight class this year and the biggest difference is that we’ll scrap for six minutes — even in matches where it doesn’t look good and where we might get pinned — we’ll hang in there.”
The Trojans JV won their dual 55-16.