Even with the one-match-at-a-time focus that Polk County Middle’s wrestling program is trying this season to maintain, Monday’s victory perhaps meant just a bit more than usual.
The Wolverines topped Rugby 64-39 in a Blue Ridge Conference East Division clash, a victory replete with added significance. Consider the following:
- Polk Middle (7-1) finished its first pass through its East Division schedule with a 5-0 division mark and sole possession of first place.
- The Wolverines completed a sweep of the four Henderson County schools in the East.
- Polk moved a step closer to finishing in the top two in the East, earning a spot in the postseason dual team playoffs, and a division title, which would be the first in school history.
“We’ve been saying with every match that if we stay in the driver’s seat, everything will work out,” said Polk Middle head coach Jerry Cox. “That was a huge, huge win.
“To finish our first time through the division and to be 5-0 in the division is obviously a big thing. We seem to be peaking at the right time.”
Monday’s match began with the 170-pound class, and Rugby (3-3, 3-2) used its strength in the upper weights to take an 18-6 lead before Polk’s Kamron Montgomery notched a first-period pin in the heavyweight match.
That moved the match to the lower weights, and Polk dominated, claiming nine of the next 10 matches. A couple of those matches didn’t end until the third period, with others going deep into the second period. Cox cited that as testament to Polk Middle’s fitness.
A hard-fought win at 113 pounds for Aiden Billings energized fans on both sides, and the Wolverines responded with pins by Carson Bell, Omar Villarreal and Zach McCraw. Chester Wilson capped Polk’s run with a fall in the final seconds of his match at 138 pounds.
With victory secure, Polk Middle forfeited the final three weight classes.
The second half of the season begins Thursday for Polk Middle with another challenging home match against West Division leader Waynesville. The Mountaineers are the only unbeaten team left in the BRC.
Polk will then again face its East Division rivals and will have to travel to Apple Valley, Flat Rock and Rugby in the season’s closing weeks.
“We’ve got to face them all again. The job is not done,” Cox said. “We’ll be right back at it Thursday. It’s not common that you get a one seed vs. a one seed during the season.
“It’s going to be a good test for us to see how good we really are.”
76: Blake Cole (PC) p. Andrew Ayers
83: Liam Jackson (PC) maj. dec. Lane Iglesias, 12-1
90: Cam Kachilo (R) d. Brody Wolfe, 9-2
98: Connor Ahlert (PC) p. Jabari Banks
106: Alex Martin (PC) p. Shepherd Gordon
113: Aiden Billings (PC) p. Zack McMinn
120: Carson Bell (PC) p. Cooper White
126: Omar Villarreal (PC) p. Everett Ayers
132: Zach McCraw (PC) p. Cooper Allen
138: Chester Wilson (PC) p. Jake McCrimmon
145: Brady Merrill (R) by forfeit
152: Gabe Gonzalez (R) by forfeit
160: Mason Carver (R) by forfeit
170: Zalen McCraw (PC) p. Tony Delgado
182: Zack Blankenship (R) p. Tanner McKinney
195: Quinton Bell (R) p. Lucas Johnson
220: Henry Morris (R) by forfeit
HWT: Kamron Montgomery (PC) p. Camron Whitmire