Final match decides dual champ
It came down to the final weight class and Baldwin High School needed a pin from junior heavyweight Cameron Scruggs.
The BHS wrestler nearly had his opponent pinned twice, but eventually lost in points as the match went the distance.
Baldwin lost its dual against Burlington 38-30 Tuesday night, in part because of several injuries and other issues that have hurt the BHS wrestling team.
"It was a really exciting dual," coach Kit Harris said. "I am really proud of our kids' effort. We've had some family tragedies and a lot of injures, so we have a lot of kids out of our line up. That's OK, because the kids we put out there really gave it all they had and made it an exciting dual against a very good Burlington team. I have no complaints."
Although the dual came down to Scruggs' match, Harris wasn't disappointed in his junior wrestler at all.
"Cameron Scruggs is pretty new to the sport," Harris said. "He puts a ton of heart and effort into his matches."
Six BHS wrestlers won their dual matches Tuesday evening. They were freshman Josh Hanson (103 pounds), sophomore Alan Callahan (112), junior Nick Rockhold (119), junior Kevin Callahan (130), senior Michael Kohn (171) and senior Josh Wood (215).
"I was pleased," A. Callahan said of his match. "He was really tall. It was a good match."
Tuesday marked the first time Wood has taken the mat in a competition this season. He took time away from the sport after his mother, Sherrie Wood, succumbed to cancer in November.
"It was awesome for more reasons than one," Wood said. "I've missed it, but I needed the time I took off from wrestling. I've gotten everything taken care of so now I need to get everything taken care of on the mat."
Harris said he was glad to have Wood back on the team, especially considering everything he has been through during the past few months.
"It's really cool for Josh Wood to get on the mat with what he has been through this year," Harris said. "This was his very first match of the season and he did well. He's only had less than a week of practice and it takes time to build up your conditioning. I am really proud of him and he is such an important part of our program."
Another wrestler that has impressed the BHS coach is Rockhold, who holds a 15-7 record this season.
"Nick Rockhold is having an awesome year," Harris said. "He is on fire and he's working his tail off every day. He is finding really tough partners to work with in practice. It's pushing him and making him better. He has really improved."
Tuesday's dual was supposed to take place in Burlington, but was moved to Baldwin because of the Wildcats' new wrestling venue not being completed. The BHS wrestlers enjoyed the first home meet of the season.
"It's always nice to have a home dual," Harris said. "We have really good fans. It's good for the kids to wrestle in front of their parents. It would have been nice to have more of a crowd, but it's hard to compete against the basketball teams when they are playing so well."
The home meet even got Harris excited for the upcoming Baldwin Invitational, which will take place on Jan. 27.
"That's going to be a really tough tournament," Harris said. "There will be some tough teams coming in as always. It's always fun to host a great meet."
Before the Bulldogs can be ready for the competition at that tournament, Harris said they will need to work on a few things.
"The two things we need to work on now are increasing the life in the room, so we can be stronger during the third period," Harris said. "The other thing is some fundamental skills that I need to drill into their system, so they have some good basic skills when they are out of position."
A. Callahan hopes the team can keep improving and be ready for postseason action in February.
"Everybody is getting better and we are all wrestling pretty solid," Callahan said. "We are making the steps to become a great team."
Wood is also ready for the remainder of the season.
"I wouldn't miss it for anything," Wood said. "It's very important to me and my family. I am looking forward to it a lot."
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