Polk County Middle’s Harrison Waddell looks to gain the upper hand during Tuesday’s 220-pound match.

Forget season opener. For much of Polk County Middle’s wrestling team, Tuesday’s match against Macon County Middle served as a career opener.

The Wolverines made the most of it, too, battling Macon on even terms much of the match before dropping a 54-32 decision to the Panthers in a Blue Ridge Conference battle at Polk.

Despite a roster filled with first-time competitors, Polk Middle (0-1) trailed just 30-29 midway through the match. Three Wolverines РTopher Pearson at 83 pounds, Jacob Knighton at 132 and Bryson McCraw at 138 Рrecorded pins, with Brody Reynolds winning by forfeit, as the Wolverines rallied to that one-point deficit.

But the Panthers dominated the upper weight classes to secure the win. Amner Contreas earned a hard-fought 10-6 decision at 182 for Polk’s only victory in the higher weights.

“I saw a lot of good things and a lot of bad things,” said Polk County Middle head coach Jerry Cox, also making his debut with the program. “It’s been a rough week. We’ve had a lot of kids out sick, and we lost a lot of practice time.

“But other than that, I saw a lot of good things. The fact that we only had to forfeit three weight classes, it’s so fantastic to have that. We had a couple of first-period pins, and that’s awesome. We have a long way to go, but there were a lot of good things.”

Polk County Middle returns to the mat on Thursday, traveling to Brevard for a 4:30 p.m. match.

Macon County Middle 54, Polk County Middle 32
Topher Pearson (PC) p. Landon Chovaric; 90: Ethan Farrell (MC) p. Collier Foster; 98: Tori Strickland (PC) by forfeit; 106: Isiaha Roots (MC) p. Antonio Simpson; 113: Mark Polo (MC) p. Charlie Jackson; 120: Hunter Cabe (MC) p. Malakye Chavez; 126: Jonathan Martinez (MC) p. Bryce Jergenson; 132: Jacob Knighton (PC) p. Aaliyah Lebron; 138: Bryson McCraw (PC) p. Carmen Sgro; 145: Brody Reynolds (PC) by forfeit; 152: double forfeit; 160: Tyler Smith (MC) p. Brandon West; 170: Isaac Jennings (MC) p. Isidro Gonzalez; 182: Amner Contreras (PC) d. Kevin Cade, 10-6; 195: double forfeit; 220: Cody Cameron (MC) p. Harrison Waddell; HWT: Corbin Tallent (MC) by forfeit

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