Polk County Middle earned one of its biggest wins Monday thanks to its two smallest wrestlers.
Blake Cole and Liam Jackson delivered wins in the final two matches, allowing the Wolverines to defeat Flat Rock Middle 57-48 in a Blue Ridge Conference clash at Polk Middle.
Prior to the match, ask anyone connected with Polk Middle’s program when the Wolverines last defeated the Eagles and much headscratching and musing would have ensued. The answer generally settled on at least 10 years, perhaps 12 years, perhaps more.
By day’s end, though, the inquiry produced a more recent and definitive response.
“Once again, a sixth grader got the job done,” said Polk Middle head coach Jerry Cox, referring to Jackson. “It shows what a good job the (Wolverine Wrestling Club) is doing feeding us wrestlers who can come in here and compete.”
The wins from Cole at 76 pounds and Jackson at 87 were no more important, in the final score, than the other eight matches that Polk wrestlers claimed. But the circumstance certainly thrust those final two bouts into the spotlight.
Polk Middle (4-1) raced to a 42-12 lead and still led 48-24 when Flat Rock (2-1) reeled off four straight victories in the upper weights, evening the team score at 48-48.
That brought Cole to the mat for a back-and-forth match that ended in a 10-9 decision, putting the Wolverines ahead 51-48.
Fans and wrestlers on both sides stood for much of the 83-pound match, which Jackson controlled. The sixth grader scored an early takedown and then recorded a pin just before the end of the first period.
Jackson’s triumph cemented a near-sweep of the lower weights for Polk, the Wolverines winning eight of the nine lowest classes. The match began with the 90-pound class, where Polk’s Brody Wolfe pinned Flat Rock’s Tyler Shipman.
“We have four or five people (in the lower weights) who are going to win their matches most of the time,” Cox said. “That helps us get on a roll, and we’ve told the kids that can turn into a snowball.”
Polk Middle will be back in action on Thursday, traveling to Brevard Middle for a 4:30 p.m. match.
76: Blake Cole (PC) d. Dirk G., 10-9
83: Liam Jackson (PC) p. Everett B.
90: Brody Wolfe (PC) p. Tyler Shipman
98: Jaxtyn Virgil (PC) p. James Lyon
106: Logan Grooms (FR) p. Conner Ahlert
113: Aiden Billings (PC) p. Kevin Castro Rojo
120: Amon Villarreal (PC) p. Garret
126: Carson Bell (PC) p. Bradley Rubio
132: Zach McCraw (PC) p. Malachi S.
138: Joab Gonzales (FR) p. Shane Jaskowiak
145: Daniel Griffen (PC) p. Micah Hartline
152: Victor Morales (FR) by forfeit
160: Noah B. (FR) by forfeit
170: Zalen McCraw (PC) p. Alex Funez-Oritz
182: Jackson Metcalf (FR) p. Tanner McKinney
195: Roman Delacruz (FR) p. Ben Winkel
220: Carson Levi (FR) p. Lucas Johnson
252: Gabe Jones (FR) p. Kam Montgomery