Blazers fall behind in formidable match-ups
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, Jan. 12 –
Damascus defeated Blair's varsity wrestling team 59 - 9 at a dual meet on Tuesday. The majority of the matches were long, showing impressive endurance from both teams. Sophomore Steven Staley and junior Arthur Tsapdong were the only two wrestlers to win their matches.
Tsapdong was the only Blazer to successfully pin his opponent. During the first period his opponent was able to make several takedowns, but could not completely pin Tsapdong. Later on, his opponent kept Tsapdong locked in his grip, but Tsapdong was able to break out of it. Finally, he pinned his opponent halfway into the second period.
Most of the matches went into third periods, displaying considerable stamina from each wrestler. Junior captain Jeffery Garcia had a particularly close match that came down to the last seconds of the match. Both wrestlers struggled to pin each other in the first and second period. Going into the third 9-9, Garcia continued to attack aggressively, but his opponent was able to gain several more points which allowed him to win by decision as time ran out. "If I had been a little faster and a little harder, I would have had him," Garcia said.
In his match, Staley was able to overpower his opponent's stamina to win. In the first two periods, Staley struggled staying within the boundary line. Staley was able to clinch his victory by outrunning his opponent's stamina. Although for a while his opponent had many pinning opportunities, Staley was able to hold him off. The third period climaxed when Staley held his opponent down on the mat for over 30 seconds, but he could not quite secure a pin. While Staley was still able to win 7-4 by decision, he expressed that the length of the match was a challenge. "In the third period you've got to keep going," he said. Staley also noted that he wanted to work on pinning to end future matches more definitively.
Coach Jacob Scott was mildly disappointed with the team's performance against Damascus, stating that he had higher expectations. However, he also asserted that the team was still showing improvement from past performances during the season. "They're constantly on the incline," he said.
Scott expressed that for following meet, he would like to see the wrestlers fight with more heart and confidence, aside from better technique. Garcia also pointed out that the wrestlers mentality was crucial to winning in the future. "We need to build more character-wise," he said.
Blair's next home game is against Gaithersburg High School on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.
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