Wrestlers beat Blake 44-34
JAN. 11, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-
A hush fell over the Blair wrestlers three days ago. They were silenced by a shared frustration in their inability to come together and beat Rockville, one of the many teams they believed was inferior. Today, they were jubilant in beating Blake 44-34.
The wrestlers' bodies were bouncing, coaches eager and appearances calm as the match began. Blazer fans were discussing the likelihood of Blair's most common result, a loss, becoming realized once again. But the next 15 minutes seemed to make a world of difference in their eyes and their mouths followed, loudly cheering with ecstasy, pride and support when the winning began. By the end of the third match, Blair was up 16-0. Pretty good for a 1-6 team.
The performance of today's starting wrestler sophomore Patrick Lao (103) epitomized that of every Blazer that would follow. He instantly obtained a hold on his competitor and, though the match lasted 5:12, he never lost it. Lao used numerous takedown and pinning combinations. The squirmy nature of his Bengal opponent left Lao within inches of pinning him on so many occasions that with 17 points to one, Lao was victorious because of the Mercy Rule.
The next match consisted of freshman Sam Robergeau (112) tiring down his opponent by reversal after reversal and pinning him at 4:41. Next, freshman Haben Ghebremeschel (119) dragged his opponent around the floor looking for a pin, only to find, 11 seconds into the second period, a win by the Mercy Rule.
Freshman Phine Ulysse (125) had control of his opponent since the start of the match but lost everything in a seven quick seconds late in the period when his competitor slammed Ulysse onto his back and pinned him with one strong reversal.
Each Bengal's tiredness after only a few minutes of wrestling soon became apparent to the Blazers, who in turn became more patient and effective with their attacks as time passed. Blair went on to win four of the next six matches by second-period pins.
Blair started to have problems with the heaviest weight classes, when it was faced with older, more experienced, county-ranked players. With their times combined, the last four Blazers were pinned in less than 10 minutes.
Today, the Blazers made few mistakes in the execution of their moves. Some Blazers believe this attention to detail made the difference. "Before, we were sloppy,” said Lao. "We were really focused today. Before, it was just instinct. Now we are still aggressive, but we know what to do.”
Coach Jake Scott was proud of his athletes but not surprised by the results. "We always try our best. This team was just less challenging than the others.”
The wrestling team next faces Gaithersburg at Seneca Valley on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 1 p.m.
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