Dover — The Lebanon wrestling team had no problems in beating Western Boone Thursday evening in the annual Boone County dual between the two teams.
Lebanon won five of the seven matches that were contested on the night and add six forfeits to win 65-13.
“We were excited that some of our kids who normally don’t wrestle varsity got a chance tonight,” Lebanon head coach Derek Bocock said. “It was a good experience for them. We adjusted our line-up a little bit to make sure we did what we needed to and we are happy with where we are going right now.”
While it wasn’t a win for Western Boone, first-year head coach Matt Joyce has seen a lot of improvement in his team from the beginning of the season until now.
The year hasn’t gone the way the Stars have wanted, but they are set up for improvements in the future.
“It is encouraging to see,” Joyce said. “They are coming after people and going at it with an aggressive mentality. I am enjoying what I am seeing and it is just going to take some time. We have some kids who need to get some feel stuff and that is going to take mat time.”
The match started at 145 pounds with Western Boone’s Mason West and Lebanon’s Jonah Holdman.
West won the match 3-0, but both coaches were happy with their kids performances.
“I am excited to see what the future has got for Mason,” Joyce said. “I think a good summer of work for him will go a long way. He is going surprise some people next year I think.
In Holdman, Lebanon had a four-year wrestler that didn’t always get a chance on the varsity, but put in a lot of hours in practice and helped the team in any way he could.
“I am very excited for Jonah, I thought he wrestled his heart out,” Bocock said. “He is a good kid and has been in our program for six years counting middle school. For him to go out and battle against a kid that was pretty strong and tough like that, was awesome. It was great for him and I am glad we gave him an opportunity tonight.”
Lebanon got a win at 152, when Easton Williamson pinned Jacob Fennell in the second period.
At 160, Western Boone’s Dakota Halford was able to top Lebanon’s Andrew Whitsett 17-8 to give Western Boone a 7-6 lead.
“He kept his head up,” Joyce said of Halford. “There have been a couple times this season where he would little thing get him down. Throughout the season, he is starting to keep his head up, he’s not letting little things bother him and that has been great.”
Lebanon’s Alex Jones and Ross Wood followed with forfeit wins for Lebanon.
At 195, Evan Stambaugh got a pin of Stephen Blad before Patrick Tubbs pinned Josh Fennell to make it 30-7 in favor of Lebanon.
The Tigers’ Jacob McClaine won by forfeit at 285, and the Tigers’ Ryan McConnaha was able to win by technical fall over Western Boone’s Jacob Parsons at 106 to make it 41-7.
Lebanon’s Brayden Myers, Western Boone’s Tyler Roys and Lebanon’s Cameron Toole got forfeits in the next three weight classes.
The final contested match of the day was at 132, where Lebanon’s Evan Bocock pinned Western Boone’s Evan Smith. The Tigers’ Hunter Smith won by forfeit at 138 to end the match.
Both teams are off until the sectional on Jan. 28 at Zionsville.
“We want to work on our technique and conditioning,” Bocock said. “We want to make sure we know what we want to execute when we face tough opponents. We have to have an intensity and a tenacity that is unmatchable.”
For Western Boone, Joyce said the team has to go into the sectional with the right mindset.
“For us, it is making sure we are in a good position,” Joyce said. “Anyone can have a good day. I have seen kids who probably shouldn’t have made it out of sectionals advance and go on. We just have to make sure we put ourselves in a position to where we could have a good day.”