LAKEVILLE — It was Senior Night at LaVille, but after the initial senior introductions, visiting Culver Military Academy didn’t give the Lancers a whole lot to celebrate.
The loaded Eagles lineup won 11 matches, including five by pinfall from 132 to 160, and CMA handed its hosts a lopsided 58-18 loss.
For the Eagles, who were coming off the team championship with seven individual champions at the Winamac Super Six last weekend, it was important to avoid a letdown. After forfeits in the first three weight classes — two by LaVille and one by Culver — CMA won nine straight bouts, including five by fall and one by major decision, to put the meet out of reach early.
“LaVille is a good opponent, they’re coached well, and their kids come out ready to wrestle,” said CMA head coach Matt Behling. “I told our kids ahead of time ‘You cannot overlook any team. You need to get out here and you’ve got to wrestle tough.’ I was pleased with the fact that they came out and wrestled as hard as they did.”
CMA boasts a pair of returning state qualifiers in junior Kayla Miracle — although the 120-pounder, who became the first female in Indiana history to reach the state finals last year, sat out Thursday’s meet after failing to make weight — and senior 145-pounder Anthony McHugh, and the Eagles were invited to compete in the Class AA Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s first annual State Duals Invitational later this month after topping the team standings at the Plymouth Sectional last year.
LaVille head coach Mike Bottorff said he thought his wrestlers were intimidated by the Eagles’ reputation going in.
“They’re a better team, they’re a lot better, but we didn’t wrestle very well,” he said.
“We’re a better team than that. Nothing against them… but we just didn’t wrestle well. We were intimidated.”
The Lancers ended the meet on a high note, however, as Robert Williams and Austin Wilson both earned pinfall victories at 220 and heavyweight.
While LaVille entered Thursday’s meet coming off a win over Culver Community Wednesday night and competes in numerous weekday meets throughout the season, the traditional dual was something of a departure for CMA, which, like many programs, has shifted its schedule in favor of weekend super duals and tournaments.
“We try to keep these duals because we want to wrestle this old-school type of wrestling match where you have crowd against crowd, and everybody’s getting into it and they’re focused on that one mat. We love that,” Behling said. “We have four of those a year and with our schedule that’s about as many as we can fit in with the weekends that we wrestle.”
LaVille will look to bounce back at the Caston Super Six Saturday, when CMA heads to the Logansport Tournament.
“I feel really good about where the team is at right now,” said Behling. “They’re putting the work in, they’re getting stronger, they’re focusing on their technique and they’re coming out and wrestling competitively. I’m very happy with the direction we’re heading.”
• CULVER MILITARY 58,
106: Varuh Devetha (C) won by forfeit; 113: Steven Mathart (C) won by forfeit; 120: Tristan Weaver (L) won by forfeit; 126: Chayton (C) dec. Bryant Hunsberger, 9-7; 132: Noah Trevino (C) pin Mitchell Henry, 2:52; 138: David Zajac (C) pin Matthew Moore, 2:47; 145: Anthony McHugh (C) pin Mitchell Moore, 1:43; 152: Edward Hogan (C) pin Ben Norton, 3:02; 160: Edmond Hogan (C) pin Devin Johnson, 3:37; 170: Jordan Shultz (C) dec. Chris Bailey, 8-5; 182: Danny Williams (C) Maj. Dec. Josh Dudeck, 11-0; 195: Collin Parker (C) won by forfeit; 220: Robert Williams (L) pin Simon Griffith, 1:14; 285: Austin Wilson (L) pin Collin Pepper, 3:13.