By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL – Senior Night couldn’t have gone much better for Summit.
The Spartans won six straight individual matches to open Thursday’s Border Battle wrestling clash with visiting Independence, taking advantage of an additional two forfeits for 44 unanswered points, and posted a 65-7 victory.
“Everything went perfect for us,” Summit coach Pete Miller said following his team’s second duals win of the week. “Our guys were ready. We told them this was going to be a battle.
“I’ve been waiting for this. This is the team I’ve been waiting for. I think they can step up to the challenge.”
With the match starting at the 220-pound weight class, Independence had no wrestler either there or at 106, and Spartan junior 285-pounder Ryan Smith turned in a second-period pin of Bradley Vaughn. Summit followed with pins at 113 (Jarvis Little), 120 (Jackson Masters) and 126 (Justin Noll) to break the match open early.
“Pins can be contagious,” Miller said, after his team recorded seven. “It showed tonight.
“There’s a lot of parts to it – where you start, how you line up, the coin flip. Everybody had a part to play, even the ones that didn’t wrestle.”
By the time Independence earned a decision, with Chris Witt edging Austin Grooters 9-5 at 145, the match was well in hand for the hosts. The Eagles’ only other win came at 170, where Tanner Willett downed Luke Justice by major decision, 16-8.
“All the matches we thought could go either way, they won,” Indy coach Bryan Youngsma said. “They wrestled tough. We’ll learn from it and move on. We didn’t get it done … As long as we can learn from it, we can get ready for the next one.”
The visitors, impacted to a degree by the pandemic, continue to have an unsettled lineup.
“There’s a lot of folks we didn’t have,” Youngsma said. “We have yet to put out our full lineup, and even the ones we did have in, some hadn’t wrestled in two weeks. That’s something everybody’s dealing with.
“I don’t think we wrestled badly. They were just ready for it. We’ll focus on the positive. There was a lot of positive. We’ll build on that.”
Though the score didn’t show it, Miller was pleased with the state of the Border Battle rivalry.
“I know it’s not Bradley Central/Cleveland or McCallie/Baylor, but I think the rivalry we’ve created here is special, and that takes two great teams,” he said. “We’re trying to make it an event, create an atmosphere. This atmosphere is special.”
Both teams will be in action Saturday at the Franklin Invitational, then resume duals competition Tuesday as Summit visits Spring Hill and Independence hosts Page.
Summit 65, Independence 7: 220 – Ty Garber (S) by forfeit; 285 – Ryan Smith (S) p. Bradley Vaughn, 2:54; 106 – Grayson Miller (S) by forfeit; 113 – Jarvis Little (S) p. Nicholas Sebastian, 0:42; 120 – Jackson Masters (S) p. Philip Shand, 3:48; 126 – Justin Noll (S) p. Brandon Lee, 1:44; 132 – Landon Desselle (S) tf. Timothy Ford 19-2; 138 – Austin Noll (S) d. Spencer Kon 7-6; 145 – Chris Witt (I) d. Austin Grooters 9-5; 152 – Finley Jameson (S) p. Grant Campanali, 3:39; 160 – Graham Harvey (S) p. Isaac Dotson, 3:22; 170 – Tanner Willett (I) md. Luke Justice 16-8; 182 – Jensen Schreiber (S) d. Cannon Roberts 7-3; 195 – Maddox Reed (S) p. Gabriel Hall, 3:25
Photos by Vanessa Beach / SM-Tn Sports