The scoreboard wasn’t in Polk County Middle’s favor late in Wednesday’s match with Hendersonville Middle, much as it hasn’t been in the Wolverines’ favor all season.
It would have been simple for Polk Middle’s final few wrestlers to go through the motions, or perhaps just even take the mat in the team’s final home match with a lack of emotion or focus.
Not this team. Not this year.
Instead, Angus Weaver pinned his opponent at 122 points in 22 seconds. Kaden Jobe followed at 128 pounds and won by pin in 23 seconds. A forfeit later, Brady Hall pinned his Bearcat foe at 140 pounds in 39 seconds.
Bam, bam, bam – each time the referee’s hand smacked the mat to signal another fall, it sounded a lot like hope for the future of Polk County Middle’s wrestling program.
Which has been the theme of the season for the squad, a hard-working group that has helped breathe some life back into Wolverine wrestling. Pressed to even field half a team last season, so little depth that every match was a lost cause before the action even began, the Wolverines have made the 2016-17 season very much a year on which the program can build a future.
“From start to finish,” said Polk Middle head coach Jason Flynn. “This is a great set of kids who always give 100 percent. They wrestle each other and they push each other. They made it important to themselves to get better.
“The wins and losses column doesn’t show how hard these guys have worked. The amount of individual matches, even from last year, has more than doubled. Matches are lasting longer and kids are going deeper, giving them more opportunities to win. The big positive is that we’ve had some success, and it’s important to have some kind of success.”
The Wolverines will travel to Flat Rock on Thursday to end their regular season. There is a chance that several individual wrestlers will qualify for the Blue Ridge Middle School Conference tournament, giving them one more opportunity for success in a season that can only qualify as just that.
“These guys are young,” Flynn said. “If we get a few more wrestler and can get a little deeper and fill even more weight classes, that’s exactly what this program needs.”