After a third-place finish at the Bismarck Rotary over the weekend, the Rapid City Central wrestling team faced the tough task of a quick turnaround in a dual meet against Douglas/Rapid City Christian Tuesday.
It would prove to not be a problem.
The Cobblers used seven pins and rolled by the Patriots 59-15 at Naasz Gymnasium.
"Tuesday’s are hard, you’re coming off a weekend up in Bismarck, most guys are healing up from all the matches you had last Saturday," Central coach Lance Pearson said. "We have a few bumps and bruises, but we head to Casper this weekend, and this is a good warmup as we head to that."
Douglas/Rapid City Christian coach Sean Gholson has two eighth graders, two freshman and a sophomore in his lineup, in addition to five seniors.
He said he thought everyone took a step in the right direction Tuesday, even if we would have liked to have seen more points on the scoreboard at the end.
"We’re kind of building towards the future. My seniors are building for right now, but the other guys are building for the future," he said. "I saw some things we’ve been working on in practice, some things to go on."
The Cobblers started with two quick pins, as Noah Popken won the 106-pound match and Cael Larson was the 113-pound winner.
The Patriots got their first win at the 120-pound class, when William George came out on top in a 3-1 decision.
"We needed to be a little more offensive in a few weights," Pearson said. "There were a few close matches that we would’ve liked to have gotten, but overall it was a good effort by the others."
Central took the next five weight classes. Brendan Thompson won with a pin at 126, Ethan Thibeault won a 8-7 decision at 132, Kadyn Kraye won at 138 in a 11-3 major decision, T.J. Morrison took home the 145 match in a pin and Landin Winter won at 152 in 10-2 major decision.
Colton Jackson got Douglas/Rapid City Christian's second win of the night in a pin at 160. The Cobblers responded with a pin from Wyatt Jungclaus at 170 and Damon Aguilar at 182.
Keenan McKnight of Central won by forefit at 195, Nolan Smith of Central got the pin at 220 and the Patriots got the last win of the night, as Connor Braun got the pin at 285.
Gholson said he thinks he's seen improvement throughout the season, and he was happy that some of his younger wrestlers got a chance to develop further.
"Whoever we wrestle, we have to come after them, we can’t be afraid," Gholson said. "That’s the thing I’m trying to get into them. A little more intensity, not backing down from anybody. Even for my eighth graders. I have high expectations for them because that’s how they’ll be successful in the future."
Pearson said that although Tuesday's dual coming off of a long weekend can be tough, he doesn't think his team is good enough to take anyone lightly.
"Sometimes you don’t have to warn them too much because these teams we run into, we’re not head and shoulders above anybody," he said. "Maybe you’re the favorite in most of the weights, but there’s always weights that present challenges. It’s part of the other teammates jobs to get that guy up, because if you have guys who aren’t taking it serious, that could spell some bad things that could happen, and then once that starts it’s hard to stop it."
As young as Douglas/Rapid City Christian is, Pearson said Central also has some growing up to do with only four seniors on the roster.
"We’re a really young team, but that can’t be an excuse. Our schedule doesn't change because we’re young," he said. "Our boys have to grow up quick, some of them are, some of them still need to learn a few things about what they need to do. It’s nice to have some guys we can bump in there to fill in for different guys."
The Cobblers head to Wyoming for the Kelly Walsh Dual Tournament in Casper over the weekend. Pearson said he's liked the way his team has developed throughout the season.
"We’re moving along. I’d like to think we’re right in the hunt, we need a few more guys to step up and we can be in the mix for the whole thing," he said. "We’re all chasing (Rapid City) Stevens right now, so we’re trying to close that ground on them."
Douglas/Rapid City Christian has a dual meet with Spearfish Thursday.