Cyclone grapplers down East, Crockett

By Ivan Sanders


   Grapplers from Sullivan East, David Crockett and Elizabethton gathered at A.L. Treadway Gym on Thursday evening hoping to make all the right moves and pin a district loss on each respective team.
   In the end, it was the host Cyclones who made a clean sweep as they dealt both teams solid defeats to run their district slate to 4-1 and go 7-3 overall in team wrestling on the season. It was a night that provided satisfaction for EHS mentor Bill Potter.
   "Our sluggishness was evident after the two and a half week layoff for the holidays," quipped Potter. "I felt like we wrestled good enough to win and I was happy with the performance of sophomore Jarrett Taylor and especially the physical wrestling that Andy Ross demonstrated tonight."
   In match one, the Patriots of East found themselves deep in the well before the first match as they were forced to forfeit six of the 13 weight classes to the Cyclones. Pins by Andy Ross, one of the three Ross brothers wrestling for EHS, and David Sayers stifled what hopes that East might have had of overcoming the Cyclones.
   In one of the more exciting matches of the night, David Hardy and Clayton Potter fired the crowd up with a knock and grind match-up that wasn't settled until the final horn sounded as Potter managed to slip away from Hardy for an escape and three points to take a 11-8 match that was tied 8-all with less than :10 seconds left in the three-period affair.
   Zack Morris and Eric Clark provided the only bright spots for the Patriots as they took pins over the Cyclone's Cory Henson and Eric Moore respectively with less than 20 seconds left in the first period of each match.
   For Jarrett, it was a memorable night as the sophomore captured his first pin of his wrestling career. "I am real excited about getting it," stated Jarrett. "I am really proud to finally get a pin and this will definitely help my confidence for the rest of the season."
   In match two of the evening, the Crockett Pioneers put up a fighting effort, but once again all three of the Ross boys stepped up in collecting big wins for Potter's squad and more importantly carried the team to another conference win.
   "I wished that I could get that type of match from Andy all the time," stated Potter of Ross's performance against Crockett's Jamie DeVault. "If he could maintain that type of physical wrestling, there's no doubt in my mind that he couldn't metal at State this year."
   Other notable performances from the second match included David Sayers taking his second win of the evening against the Pioneer's Chris Cates in pinning the Crockett wrestler with :32 seconds left in the first period. Also, Patrick Jenkins ran his record to 11-4 on the season by taking out Justin Beckett with :47 seconds left in the first on a pin-fall.
   "I decided to become a more aggressive wrestler from an offensive standpoint during the break," stated Jenkins. "I was shooting on Beckett and didn't wrestle so much defensively as I have during my other matches.
   "I think going against Andy during practice and drilling with Mitch Cornett has helped me more than anything," added Jenkins.
   The road doesn't get any easier for the Cyclones either as they will jump in over their heads next week with four matches scheduled, including one at home on Tuesday. Tuesday night will be special for ALL Carter County students as every student will be admitted free of charge for the match.
   "I want all the students to come out and see what prep wrestling is all about," said Potter. "They will have a blast and it won't cost them a dime to get in."