Originally Wednesday night’s TRC wrestling at Peru was a straight dual match against Northfield.
Football success for the Tigers meant the season-opening dual against Wabash was moved to the same evening with the hosts splitting the matches, defeating the Norsemen 64-14 while falling to the A No. 9 Apaches 43-27.
Peru head coach Andy Hobbs said the night was a new experience for the program and a good night for wrestling.
“We keep getting a little bit better,” Hobbs said. “The guys are growing into varsity wrestlers.
“We’ve never done a double dual like this but when football kept going and going we moved the Wabash dual back. I’ve heard of them being done before and for the first time here it worked out well for us.”
Brayden Masters received a forfeit to open the match against Northfield at 170 pounds while Chase Seifert added a quick fall over Cody Copeland at 182 pounds.
Zian Constable claimed a 9-1 major decision over Logan Cox at 195 pounds before the Norsemen picked up their first win of the night when Micha Higgins pinned Dom Turner at 220 pounds.
Quinten Brousseau won by fall over Malachi Higgins at 285 pounds, the first of four-straight first period falls for Peru as Trey Sturgill won over Spencer Bernsworth at 113 pounds, Brayden Gibson doing likewise over Karson Pratt at 120 pounds and Cameron Baber defeated Addy France at 138 pounds.
Seth Forsyth trailed for most of the match at 145 pounds against Austin Fletcher but a reversal in the third period led to the Norseman senior winning by fall with 20 seconds to spare.
Ethan Galbraith followed with a fall over Mason Sommer at 152 pounds, the last match of the round. Cooper Baldwin (106), David Schulte (126), Alex Legg (132) and Dakota Scarlett (160) all picked up forfeit wins for the Tigers.
“Northfield has some strong farm boys that are good kids and hard to wrestle,” Hobbs said about the dual with the Norsemen. “We had some lucky breaks there and hustled a bit.”
Round two saw A No. 9 Wabash take to the mat with the dual starting at 182 pounds, where Constable picked up a first period fall over Matthew Skeens.
Chad Wyatt took a forfeit win at 195 pounds before Grant Warmuth pinned Turner early in the first period at 220 pounds.
Brousseau doubled his win tally with a fall over Sheldon Jones in the first period at 285 pounds and Baldwin received a second forfeit of the evening at 106 pounds.
The night’s premier bout turned into a rout as No. 3 Jared Brooks squared off with No. 11 Sturgill at 113 pounds.
Brooks opened the scoring with a takedown but following a Sturgill reversal, the match was all about the Peru senior’s top control.
Sturgill picked up a near fall off the reversal before repeating the process in the second period, taking a 12-2 lead into the third period and eventually picking up the fall over Brooks midway through the final stanza.
The Tigers led 24-12 at that point but would only win one match the rest of the way.
Ethan Higgins started the Apache run with a fall over Gibson at 120 pounds, having been in a pinning predicament of his own early in the opening period, before Anthony Long continued the run with a 6-3 win over Schulte at 126 pounds and was followed by a tight 6-4 decision win for Braden Brooks at 132 pounds over Legg, picking up the winning takedown in the final 20 seconds of the match.
Alex Baggett took the lead for the visitors after pinning Kayden Gee in the third period at 138 pounds while Baber briefly halved the deficit in the team dual with a 7-2 decision win over Braden Sickafus at 145 pounds.
Traydon Goodwin won a 4-1 decision over Sommers at 152 pounds and Grant Carandante secured the dual with a first period fall over Scarlett at 160 pounds. Bryson Zapata finished the dual with an 11-2 major decision over Seifert at 170 pounds.
“When you get to this point, you go with what you’ve got,” Hobbs said about the dual with the Apaches. “We’re polishing, keep reping the kids and try to get as much as we can in before the state tournament series.
“We’re relatively healthy outside a couple of guys and we’re trying to get the effort level where we need it to be to have some fun.”
Peru hosts the Peru Super Six Saturday morning, a chance for the team to see some of the wrestlers they would very likely be seeing later in the state tournament according to Hobbs.
“Saturday is our big regional check-out week,” Hobbs said. “Eastern and Oak Hill were just in the (IHSWCA Team State), Hamilton Heights and Kokomo are good teams and Angola’s real tough, so there’s five solid rounds of wrestling.
“We’ve just got to get in there and figure out how to win matches and not lose matches. The kids are still learning.”