Battling a tough early-season schedule is difficult enough for Polk County wrestling coach Phillip Miller.
Doing it with what amounts to slightly more than half a squad is a recipe for frustration.
But say this for Polk County – the Wolverines are working hard to deliver in quality what they lack in quantity. Polk held its first home action of the season on Tuesday, dropping a 60-24 decision to Smoky Mountain before nearly defeating Chesnee in a 42-30 loss.
Polk County wrestled the two matches with just nine competitors, missing just sophomore Devin Panchyshyn (illness). As they have much of the season, the Wolverines forfeited five weight classes.
“We’ve giving up a minimum of 30 points before we even get started,” Miller said. “Tonight we had just nine people. We’re just trying to win the most matches we can.
“With us, we’re working on the theory that if we win more matches then they win of the ones we wrestle, that’s a win for us.”
Trailing 36-18 in the match with Chesnee, Polk County nearly rallied, getting pins from heavyweight Marquise Lipscomb and 106-pounder Triston Watkins before Chesnee earned a pin at 113 to seal its victory.
Earlier in the match, 182-pounder Braden Miller gave Polk a spark, pinning his opponent with 15 seconds left in the match after trailing 1-0.
Watkins, Dustin Calvert and Alexander Boley each recorded pins in the match with Smoky Mountain, with Miller winning by forfeit. But like every other opponent this season, the Mustangs had strength in numbers where Polk did not.
“We’re just trying to win the numbers. That’s a win for us,” Miller said. “That’s really all we can work on at this point.”