MOREHEAD CITY — The start to West Carteret’s 3A Coastal Conference wrestling schedule was smooth as ever Wednesday, Jan. 8 with a 58-22 victory over White Oak at home.
The Patriots won 10 of a possible 14 weight divisions to improve to 15-2 overall as a dual team this season. White Oak forfeited two weight classes, leaving West the victor in eight of its 11 head-to-head matchups.
“White Oak had a full lineup for the most part, which is good,” West coach Kevin Smith said. “They have some spunky kids that go out there, so we knew we had to scrap a little bit. We were also able to put some jayvee guys out there and give them some varsity experience.”
Before the match, senior Jake Reynolds was honored for eclipsing the 100-win mark as a varsity grappler. The 195-pounder, who is still recovering from a strained knee, has 103 career wins and is 15-2 this season.
“Anybody who gets 100 victories in wrestling usually has to be in the lineup as a freshman, has to stay healthy and has to have a few things go their way,” Smith said. “Jake is doing that, and Jacob Bennett is going to be our next one to hit it.”
Bennett (31-4) is at 92 career wins as of Jan. 8 with plenty of matches still left to wrestle.
West has had a surprisingly stellar start to the season, despite graduating four 100-win wrestlers last spring. Micah Dixon (144 wins), Tyler Kent (138), Sam Johnson (118) and Will Willis (109) left holes to be filled, but the Patriots were able to bounce back nicely with a relatively inexperienced roster.
“I don’t think we’re peaking at all yet,” Smith said. “I think there’s a lot of work left to do. We’re still learning to be consistent at practice and putting in a good day every day. That’s just the sign of a young team. When we see our work ethic and our consistency improve, we’ll see better things.”
West captured pins in all but one of its victories, including Hayden Augenstein (29-10) over Michael Delacruz (4-8) at 106 pounds, Spencer Bryan (7-7) over Tristan Roebuck (0-2) at 132, R.J. Kell (1-0) over Joseph Flores (0-4) at 145, Clayton Wilson (19-7) over Carl Wilson (0-1) at 160, Hiroki Cruz (21-5) over Chase Salters (6-7) at 170, Josh Henderson (31-5) over Sam Ellison (8-8) at 182 and Joshua Knipe (9-7) over Brian Miethker (0-3) at 195.
Kell was one of the freshman jayvee wrestlers afforded a crack at varsity action.
“He’s a 138-pounder, but he went out there and wrestled his kid well,” Smith said. “Things like that are good to see.”
Christian Mezzaroba (13-8) nabbed one more win at 126 pounds with a 9-0 major decision of Elijah Fergusson-James (5-5).
White Oak’s top wrestlers Quaheem Monk won by forfeit at 220 pounds. The Vikings’ other victories came from 152-pound Marrcellous Owens’ pin of Daniel Day, Trey Hoover’s pin of Cyrek Turra at 285 and DeJon Fifer’s 12-3 major decision over Austin Thompson at 138.
Here are results of the dual:
West Carteret 58, White Oak 22
106 – Hayden Augenstein (WC) pin Michael Delacruz (WO).
113 – Ariana Wolkerstorfer (WC) win by forfeit.
120 – John Watts (WC) win by forfeit.
126 – Christian Mezzaroba (WC) maj. dec. Elijah Fergusson-James (WO), 9-0.
132 – Spencer Bryan (WC) pin Tristan Roebuck (WO).
138 – DeJon Fifer (WO) maj. dec. Austin Thompson (WC), 12-3.
145 – R.J. Kell (WC) pin Javier Diaz (WO).
152 – Marrcellous Owens (WO) pin Daniel Day (WC).
160 – Clayton Wilson (WC) pin Carl Wilson (WO).
170 – Hiroki Cruz (WC) pin Chase Salters (WO).
182 – Josh Henderson (WC) pin Sam Ellison (WO).
195 – Joshua Knipe (WC) pin Brian Miethker (WO).
220 – Quaheem Monk (WO) win by forfeit.
285 – Trey Hoover (WO) pin Cyrek Turra (WC).