November 26th, 2019
GC wrestlers rally late for another dramatic victory
Lakers spot Southwest Virginia a 25-0 lead, pull out 27-25 win
Dramatic, come-from-behind victories are become rather commonplace for the Garrett College wrestling team.
The Lakers spotted visiting Southwest Virginia Community College a 25-0 lead before reeling off wins in the final five weight classes Sunday afternoon to claim a 27-25 victory. GC (2-0) had opened its dual-match season by erasing a 22-0 deficit against NCAA Division II Fairmont State on the way to a 30-22 win.
"It was pretty exciting," GC head coach John Chambers said of the latest comeback. "We have an idea where we're going to get our points and we don't have a lot of room for error. Everything fell into place in the last five weight classes."
Garrett's Tanner Clark claimed the match-deciding win, pinning Ethan Rourke with two seconds remaining in the 285-pound match to complete the comeback. Clark needed a major decision or better to ensure a Laker victory.
"He [Clark] just kept going after it and after it, and finally put his [Rourke's] shoulders to the mat," Chambers said.
Southwest Virginia paired forfeit wins at 133 and 149 pounds with a pair of technical falls – Clifton Bundy's 20-4 victory over Nathan Tasker at 125, and Syed Moaz's 16-0 triumph over Dakota Lovelace at 141 – to build a 22-0 cushion. Chambers, however, praised the hard work of both Tasker and Lovelace in avoiding pins and depriving Southwest Virginia of two critical team points.
"It just shows our kids never give up. They fight to the end," said Chambers.
Dominic Fields edged GC's Austin Dyson, 3-2, at 157 pounds, but Davy Mundey got the Laker comeback started with a 6-0 win over James Acres at 165. Trevor Fawley then pinned Scott Everding at 174 to cut the deficit to 25-9.
Garrett's Chris Estrada (184 pounds) and Loic Tueguo (197) then received forfeits, setting up the decisive 285-pound bout.
The Lakers – a non-scholarship NJCAA Division III squad – have now beaten scholarship teams from the NJCAA Division I and NCAA Division II in their first two dual matches.
"It's been a great fall semester. It's a big deal any time we can defeat a scholarship team," said Chambers, whose squad will concentrate on invitational and open wrestling tournaments before returning to its dual-match season in January.
"Our young guys are getting experience on the mat, and our sophomores are becoming great leaders," added Chambers. "I couldn't have asked any more from us as a second-year team. Of course, as I've said in the past, we're not wrestling for November and December. We're wrestling to be ready in February and March [for the district and national tournaments]."