KENDALLVILLE — With the Indiana high school wrestling sectionals just a little over three weeks away the Columbia City Eagles began the second half of their season by traveling to Northeast Hoosier Conference foe, East Noble Wednesday.
The Eagles ran into a veteran Knight team and came out on the short end of a 59-10 score.
The Knights, who Columbia City coach Blane Culp described as “by far the third best team in the conference” claimed 11 of 12 contested matches with each team picking up a forfeit win.
Columbia City freshman Michael Wright took a forfeit win at 103 pounds, while East Noble senior Zach Housholder received the forfeit at 189 pounds. The host Knights racked up six pins in their 11 wins.
The Eagles with a shuffled lineup due to several injuries and other wrestlers unavailable for competition picked up their only win in a contested match at 112 pounds with junior Bryce Forrester taking a major decision over East Noble’s Sterling Lutter.
Forrester scored a first period takedown, a second period reversal, and then added a three-point near fall and a buzzer beating takedown to account for the final 9-1 major decision.
Eagles that fell in closely contested matches included Nathan Strange at 215 pounds, who dropped a close 4-2 decision to the Knights’ Trevor Morr, Eagle junior Eric Shepherd who fell 5-3 at 145 pounds, and Ethan Craig, who was downed by a 6-3 score at 135 pounds. Eagle freshman, Trey Hinen, dropped a competitive 4-0 decision in the final match of the evening at 119 pounds.
“I told the kids that they could win if they stayed in good position and didn’t make major mistakes,” coach Culp said, “and for the most part we stayed in better position than we did at the beginning of the season, so there is some improvement there. Since the Norwell match early in the year our positioning has improved greatly.”
With the loss, the Eagles record falls to 3-9 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast Hoosier Conference.
The Eagles return to the mats Saturday when they travel to New Palestine High School for an individual tournament.
“I am looking forward to this tournament as it is a one-on-one tournament, and we can see how we do as individual rather than having opponents feeding off team momentum,” Culp said.