COLUMBIA CITY — After a season-opening home match against the Bellmont Braves, the Columbia City Eagle wrestling team waited a long time for another chance to compete in front of the home crowd. That chance came Thursday night in the final match of the regular season, as the Eagles took on the visiting Garrett Railroaders in a match postponed from Wednesday due to weather.
The Eagles nursing a banged up line-up, still showed improvement, picking up four wins on the night, including wins by both of the seniors wrestlers honored in the Senior Night ceremonies. The wins were not enough as the Eagles fell by a 57-18 count to finish out the regular season.
The Railroaders jumped out to a 12-0 lead behind two pinfalls at 285 and 103 pounds. In the 285-pound matchup, Eagle Kyle Weigold and Garrett’s Travis Carunchia were tied 1-1 when Carunchia scored on a throw and put Weigold on his back for the fall with just 30 seconds left in the match.
In the 103-pound match, Columbia City freshman Micheal Wright fell by pinfall at the 1:54 mark to give the Railroaders the 12-0 lead.
The Eagles picked up their first win of the night at 112 pounds, when Bryce Forrester pinned Garrett’s Zach Helton. Forrester built a 6-1 lead going into the third period, before scoring the fall with 26 seconds left in the match to cut the Railroader lead to 12-6.
Columbia City’s Trey Hinen trailed 6-4 in the third period of a close match at 119 pounds when Garrett’s August Novy recorded the pinfall at the 5:22 mark of the contest.
The Railroaders picked up another pin at 125 pounds and an 11-3 major decision over CC’s Brice Bauer at 130 pounds to give Garrett. The Railroaders’ Brayden Moreau scored a 17-2 technical fall at 135 pounds to build a 35-6 lead.
The Eagles got back in the win column at 140 pounds when senior Justin Trigg came out aggressively against Garrett’s Kyle Lanning. Trigg scored a first period pinfall with just 52 seconds gone in the match. Trigg’s win cut the Garrett margin to 35-12.
Columbia City picked up their second win in a row at 145 pounds when junior Eric Shepherd used a big second period to take a 10-6 win over Garrett’s Gabe Gunion. Shepherd outscored Gunion 6-2 in the second period to build the lead.
The Railroaders picked up three pins and a forfeit to build a 57-15 lead going into the final match of the evening. Columbia City senior Nathan Strange went up against Garrett’s Erich McCrumb in the 215 pound weight class. Strange built a 9-3 lead in the first period, scoring on a takedown, reversal and two and three point nearfalls to build the lead. McCrumb came back in the second period outscoring Strange eight to three to narrow the Columbia City senior’s lead to 12-11. Strange scored a third period takedown to cement the match at 14-11, accounting for Columbia City’s final points in the 57-18 loss.
“We had some guys that stepped up tonight, with Forrester and Shepherd, and our two seniors Trigg and Strange,” said Eagle coach Blane Culp. “Trigg and Shepherd are really hitting their stride right now, and they are wrestling as well as anybody right now.”
The Eagles head into the Northeast Hoosier Conference Tournament at Carroll finishing the regular season at 3-11 and 1-6 in the NHC.