Success at big wrestling tournaments can be an issue even with all variables in a team’s favor, but without a full compliment of grapplers at each weight class, success must be redefined.
Such was the case for the Cascade Cadets on Friday at the Lafayette Holiday Duals.
Despite having only eight wrestlers out of 14 classes, Cascade ended its first day with a 2-3 dual record as the squad finished 29-12 individually.
“The purpose of this tournament is, with a lot of big schools and programs, our higher echelon wrestlers gain some good experience to prepare for the state tournament,” Cascade coach Travis Hutchison said. “We were obviously overmatched in a dual meet situation and knew we may not compete from a dual meet standpoint. But those who wrestled today competed very well.”
With 10 teams entered in the tournament, Cascade took on five squads yesterday and will finish today with the other four.
Zach Batts (145) finished the day a perfect 5-0 and even bumped up a weight class to take on undefeated, and No. 7-ranked, 152-pound Kokomo grappler Chad Gaddis. Batts downed Gaddis with a 6-3 decision in his last match of the day.
“Zach had a pretty dominating match against (Gaddis),” Hutchison said. “It was a good test for Zach to see where he’s at this year and we were pretty happy with that.”
Hunter Fox (113), who Hutchison said was battling some sickness, also went undefeated on the day.
“Hunter wrestled well, considering,” Hutchison said.
Lukas Stoutenour (285) finished the day 4-1 and Hutchison said he was “happy with his performance here.”
With only a one-pound allowance this morning, it’s a break from the normal routine. Grapplers usually have a couple of days to make weight following a match on a dual meet schedule, but in this case, they have to come back and do it over the next day. Also, Hutchison said the holiday break presents its own obstacles.
“It’s the kids' break and unfortunately that lands smack in the middle of our season and it’s important for the kids to stay focused,” Hutchison said. “It presents a lot of challenges over the holidays with weight, practice time and making sure they stay in shape.”
Hutchison said he had a few commitment matters that resulted in not having a larger line up, and combined with some sickness, has made the Cadets “dig deep.”
“Our issues tend to show more than big teams in our line up because we don’t have the depth the other schools do,” he said. “When that happens to us it shows up a little more fiercely.
“Pulling off the two wins is a testament to the work the eight wrestlers here have put in throughout the season.”
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.