An eager Skyview wrestling team jumped out to a 27-0 lead en route to a 54-21 dual meet victory over Nikiski at Skyview on Thursday.
The Bulldogs were coming off a 37-33 loss to Kenai on Tuesday, while Skyview had been practicing all week. Both teams will wrestle at the North-South Tournament today and Saturday at Soldotna.
"Nikiski wrestled Kenai really tough the other night," Skyview coach Neldon Gardner said. "I thought our lineup came out and wrestled really well."
Gardner said his squad was getting tired of practicing and was eager for some competition. Nikiski was on the other end of the spectrum, according to coach Adam Anders.
"It's been a pretty grueling week," Anders said. "We're pushing them hard."
Nick Van Bruggen, Hannah Hutchison and Eldon Brown took forfeits and Adam Byrne notched a pin as the Panthers led 24-0.
Skyview's Bryce Wilson then got a little revenge on Nathan Stangel at 119 pounds. Stangel had defeated Wilson at a takedown tournament in Homer to start the season, but Wilson came back with a 6-3 victory on Thursday. Gardner said the key to the victory was Wilson was able to stay away from the head-and-arm takedown that Stangel used successfully three times in Homer.
Wilson notched a takedown in the first period to lead 2-0. Stangel stormed back in the second period with an escape and takedown for a 3-2 lead, but Wilson jumped back on top with a reversal. In the third, Wilson started down and scored a reversal for a 6-3 lead early in the period. He then controlled Stangel the rest of the match.
At 125, Matt Parker scored the first points of the night for Nikiski with a pin. But Skyview came right back with a major decision by Kyle Day and a pin by Austin Tennis for a 37-6 advantage.
Nikiski's Kaden Spurgeon and Tyler Peek made the score 37-18 on back-to-back pins. Anders said both wrestled really well. He said Spurgeon was relentless and used sound technique. The coach said Peek continues to wrestle with a fun-to-watch, unique style.
Gardner said that even when his squad was losing matches, he was happy with what he saw.
"I was happy with the whole team because we were aggressive," he said. "Even if they were against a tough kid, we didn't lie down. That's the only thing you can ask for as a coach."
At 152, Jared Thomas picked up a technical fall for Skyview, then Nikiski's Karl Buccholz answered with a decision for a 42-21 score.
Skyview closed the match with a pin by Freddie Pollard and a forfeit victory by Kenny Mahan.
Anders said hard weeks like this will prepare his team for the future.
"I'm happy with all of them," he said. "This is tough for them, but it's part of the deal. It's part of their training."
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