Madison County hosted Hampton High School Saturday afternoon for the final home dual of the 2019-20 season, and the final home meet for a group of five seniors with successful records.
Madison County defeated Hampton 56-23 including wins in the last six matches and seven by pin falls. Samual Haralson, Jace Jachimski, Rowan Smith, Austin Kearns, Tristan Poss, Jaxson Hoetzel and Nathan Krickle won their matches by pin fall. Hamilton Cooper scored a technical fall in his victory.
“We finished eighth in the state last year and Hampton finished ninth (2018-19 season), so they were right behind us,” said head coach Richie Houston. “We were both kind of even last year. Jaxson (Hoetzel) finished fifth last year and beat their kid for fifth place. There were a couple of big match-ups.”
Madison County led 24-23 after eight matches after Hampton was docked a point for a post-match incident following a win which cut the Red Raiders’ lead to 24-17. Hampton cut the lead to one with another pin fall win. The Red Raiders won the last six matches to leave Hampton in the dust. The run included impressive performances by younger wrestlers Krickle and Poss. Despite the huge wins, Houston still doesn’t believe the younger wrestlers are where he expected them to be at this point of the season and shouldered the blame for their development.
“We still have got to work on fundamentals,” Houston said. “We have got to get more fundamentally sound to win the big matches when we’re at the state tournament. We saw some intestinal fortitude where guys just gritted through and just didn’t want to lose..
“The big one is Jachimski at 132 lbs. We’ve got eight kids at 126 lbs, guys are wrestling above what they weigh. Jachimski is giving up 10-plus pounds to a kid who was a state qualifier, who’s a tough kid, who wrestled tough. You could see it in the match, we were outgunned physically. He gutted through and showed some real mental toughness and physical toughness.”
Madison County and Hampton were tied at 12-12 after the first four matches. Austin Hooper won via forfeit to score Madison County’s first six points. Haralson rolled through a hold late in the first round of his match and turned the reversal into a pin fall for his victory and six more points for the Red Raiders.
Jachimski and Smith won their bouts consecutively to put the Red Raider’s ahead 24-12. Jachimski wrestled a tight, back-and-forth match which saw both competitors trading escapes and reversals in the second round. He took advantage of his opponent in the third round and scored a pin fall.
After back-to-back losses to cut the score to 24-23, Austin Kearns got Madison County back on the right track with a dominant win. The highlights included a takedown and two near falls before scoring the win. Poss and Hoetzel followed with their own pin fall wins. Poss’s match was one of the more entertaining bouts featuring four lead changes before Poss took over with an escape and takedown late in the second round. He followed with a nearfall to end the round ahead 9-5. He started the round with another takedown before pinning his opponent. Hoetzel’s win was less entertaining outside flipping out of a hold for a reversal at the beginning of the second round. A pin followed soon after.
Kettle had Madison County’s only decision win of the contest. He led the entire match before allowing a takedown late which tied the score at 7-7. He turned the tables with a reverse to take a 9-7 lead and held on to win the match.
Cooper was unable to score a pin fall, but four near falls and three takedowns allowed him to win 17-1 in the second round. Krickle had one of the faster matches of the dual with a quick takedown and pin fall.