Cyclones vanquish Pats, Buffs

By Jamie Combs
SPORTS EDITOR
jcombs@starhq.com
KINGSPORT -- Like flower bulbs reacting to the warm glow of a greenhouse light, the Elizabethton High wrestling team is really starting to flourish.
That was evident on Tuesday night inside the VanHuss Dome at Dobyns-Bennett, where the Cyclones knocked off Jefferson County 48-24, then laid a 54-24 defeat on the West Greene Buffaloes.
"We wrestled well," said Cyclone coach Bill Potter. "We still show signs of being very young as a team. We're making a lot of still-inexperienced mistakes, even though we won both matches pretty handily.
"The kids came up to the challenge both times well. That was the key. That's the key for us -- to keep working hard. Coming into the region, if we keep working hard, good things can happen for us. I'm very confident of that. We've got several pretty good athletes. We've just got to get it through their heads that they're better than what they think they are."
After the two victories upped the Cyclones' record to 10-5 on the season, Mitch Cornett, an EHS junior competing in the 152-pound weight class -- and having a very good year -- gave his thoughts on the team's Tuesday night showing.
"We all wrestled really tough and pretty aggressive," said Cornett. "And we're in better shape than we think we are."
Conditioning apparently played a factor against the tradition-rich Patriots. The Cyclones' Jarrett Taylor outlasted Josh Bruny for a 15-14 win at 215, and Corey Henson pulled out an 11-9 win for Elizabethton vs. Kory Miller at 135.
"Our conditioning is pretty good," Potter said. "I think that's one advantage we have over a lot of other teams -- our conditioning level. Our kids work really hard. Like over the Christmas holiday, we took one day off -- Christmas Day. That's the only day we didn't work out."
In the Jefferson County match, Tyler Ross (119), John Ross (125), Zach Gilliam (130), Patrick Jenkins (145), Justin Chizmar (160) and Zack Potter (189) all came through in convincing style for the Cyclones, winning by pinfalls.
Tyler Ross defeated Adam Carney in 1:11, John Ross beat Spencer Hoover in 2:52 and Gilliam needed just 1:10 to best Seth Herrera. Jenkins prevailed over Kevin Crabtree in 2:16 while Chizmar downed Trey Releford in 1:53 and Zack Potter topped Austin Schrader in 3:14.
Zack, a potential-filled freshman, continued to impress in the Cyclones' match vs. West Greene, pinning scrappy Coy McFarland in five minutes flat.
"I think I did OK," said Zack about his night's work. "I think I could have wrestled better, but I thought I did pretty good. I could have worked a little harder and thought a little bit more about what I was doing."
Also carrying over their outstanding efforts from the Jefferson County clash to the West Greene match were Jenkins, who pinned Brandon Christian in speedy fashion (1:06), and Chizmar, who finished off Joe Roberts by pin in 2:29.
Henson made his trip to Kingsport completely worthwhile by inducing the pin count in a 2:40 win over Tyler Walls.
As for Cornett, he picked up a nice and tidy victory over Nathan Cruey, using one minute and 35 seconds to stick him for a pin.
"I did OK," Cornett said. "I could have wrestled better. I was kind of nervous and that kind of got to me, but we did OK. We're doing really well this year."
The Cyclones will return to action this Friday in the East Henderson Quad at East Henderson, N.C. They enter that event with excellent momentum.
"I think we're headed in a good direction," Zack Potter said. "We've improved a lot. I think we're going to make a lot of improvement, overall."