Dec. 5—The Cumberland County wrestling team performed just about as good as coach Brad Eich could have asked for so early in the season. The Jets split a home tri-match with Upperman a Christian Academy of Knoxville.
CCHS knocked off Upperman 43-42 in a tiebreaker and just didn't have enough time to rally in its match with CAK before falling 42-36.
"Our young wrestlers are really improving," Eich said. "Even if they don't win, they're still showing increased skill set. You can tell the young wrestlers are putting in a lot of hard work and it is starting to pay off. I am excited about our whole team, but the new guys are learning a lot of things and starting to really look like wrestlers."
James Lawson picked up a win for the Jets at 160 pounds with a pin 1 minute and 39 seconds into the first period. Jacob Nealon, wrestling at 285 pounds, won his match also by pinning his opponent. His winn came 3:55 into the second period.
Several Cumberland wrestlers won by forfeit, including Anthony Godsey at 113 pounds, J.J. Voss at 138 pounds, Matthew Patton at 170 pounds, Marcus Pedde in the 180-pound class, and Davin Littlefield at 195 pounds.
"The Upperman match was close the entire way through," Eich said. "Upperman wrestled hard, they're very tough; and we're battling some injury and sickness in our lineup right now. It made for an exciting match.
"We won our last match to tie the game, then we won in a tiebreaker. There are different rules for tiebreakers, In this instance, they forfeited more weight classes than we did."
The Jets' match with Christian Academy of Knoxville could have turned the other way at any time, as the Jets matched the Warriors almost match for match. Cumberland County got wins from Godsey at 113 pounds, Voss at 138, James Lawson in the 160- pound class, Littlefield at 195, Ethan Benjamin at 220, and Nealon once again at 285 pounds.
"CAK does a good job," Eich said. "We matched up a certain way with them and I think it was just their night. We had to forfeit a couple of matches due to sickness and injury. We might have been able to win those matches, but we will never know."
Cumberland County will begin a crazy two-week period on Dec. 6 when the Jets visit Cookeville. They will then host Hardin Valley and Marion County on Thursday and participate in the I-40 Clash at Stone Memorial on Saturday. The following week, the Jets will visit Upperman on Dec. 13, host Cookeville and Knox Catholic on Dec. 15 and then close out the first semester Dec. 17 at Hardin Valley.
"It is good for the kids to get that much work in such a short period of time," Eich said. "We're trying to gain experiencce. If everything works out for my guys like we hope, and we avoid sickness and injury I would like for the wrestlers to have around 25-30 matches before the postseason. To do that you've got to have to have a few busy weeks. Our schedule is designed to help us get ready for the postseason."