Lane Williams wasn’t going to concern himself with the scoreboard. The Evergreen wrestling coach knew that the mixed results that the Cougars had Dec. 11 in their triangular dual meet with Platte Canyon and Clear Creek weren’t a true reflection of how well his team actually wrestled.
How could it be considering the number of forfeits across the board?
Yes, there were still some mistakes and that’s to be expected from his first- and second-year wrestlers. But Williams also saw improvement in his Evergreen Cougars, who scored a 30-24 dual match victory over Platte Canyon before falling 40-23 to Clear Creek.
“We showed a lot of heart tonight, the most heart we’ve shown in the last three years,” Williams said. “I’m very proud of the boys tonight. I can’t even say boys. The kids tonight. They did a great job. They stuck with it. They’d fall behind, but they didn’t quit. That’s what we talked about a lot — sticking in there and not quitting on yourself, wrestling the whole match. They did it tonight.”
Evergreen essentially won its dual with Platte Canyon thanks to a 3-2 edge in forfeit victories, but when it came to head-to-head matches the teams split two each. The Cougars picked up their victories at 113 pounds with Lane Hanson pinning Todd Bramblett in 2 minutes, 35 seconds and Jake Kay beating fellow state qualifier Gary Rhoads in 4:58 at 132 pounds.
“I felt like I had the momentum. That last-second little go we had (late in the second period) I almost had him taken down. I felt like he was backing up. He wasn’t going as aggressive,” Kay said.
That’s despite the fact that Rhoads scored the first two points of the match on a reversal to open the second period. But that lead would be a short-lived one.
“I didn’t move on top like I should’ve. He got that reversal. (But) I immediately got it back and got those back points. That’s where he felt like he broke to me,” Kay added.
Kay’s coaches have made it a point to tell him that if he mentally breaks an opponent down eventually you’ll dominate physically. That’s what the Evergreen senior did.
Against Clear Creek, it was the Golddiggers who benefited from the forfeits, scoring 30 team points off five of them. There were also three double forfeits. But in the six head-to-head bouts, Evergreen won four of them and nearly stole a fifth.
Winning for Evergreen were Hanson, Triston Tucker (120), Kay and Thad Yeatts (160). Tim Farver (138) nearly overcame a 14-1 deficit with a late reversal and near fall before dropping a major decision to the Diggers’ Addison Trower.
Yeatts’ win — a pinfall of Andrew Parrish in 4:59 — was particularly gratifying. The Evergreen sophomore trailed for most of the match before Parrish was called for a lock of hands penalty, and Yeatts turned that into a reversal and eventual pin.
“I was nervous, starting to get tired. I just kept telling myself to keep going and something good will happen,” Yeatts said.
And it did.
EVERGREEN 30, PLATTE CANYON 24
106: Double forfeit; 113: Lane Hanson (E) p. Todd Bramblett, 2:35; 120: Triston Tucker (E) won via forfeit; 126: Double forfeit; 132: Jake Kay (E) p. Gary Rhoads, 4:58; 138: Stephen Box (PC) p. Kya Perez, 0:35; 145: Cody Pond (PC) p. Tim Farver, 1:31; 152: Double forfeit; 160: Thad Yeatts (E) won via forfeit; 170: Nathan Hediger (E) won via forfeit; 182: Double forfeit; 195: Indiana Hooser (PC) won via forfeit; 220: Dominic Ozzello (PC) won via forfeit; 285: Double forfeit
CLEAR CREEK 40, EVERGREEN 23
106: Double forfeit; 113: Lane Hanson (E) p. Cody Marshall, 1:13; 120: Triston Tucker (E) p. Chris Colle, 3:47; 126: Matt McNeil (CC) won via forfeit; 132: Jake Kay (E) tech fall Parker Trower, 18-3; 138: Addison Trower (CC) major dec. Tim Farver, 14-6; 145: Jadon Farnum (CC) won via forfeit; 152: Anthony Potter (CC) won via forfeit; 160: Thad Yeatts (E) p. Andrew Parrish, 4:59; 170: Nate Kocol (CC) p. Nathan Hediger, 3:53; 182: Reed Arneson (CC) won via forfeit; 195: Bryce Trujillo (CC) won via forfeit; 220: Double forfeit; 285: Double forfeit