County teams anchor Central Duals
East Rutherford and Chase along with Crest, South Point and St. Stephens all descended on R-S Central High School Saturday morning to compete in the annual Central Duals hosted by the Hilltoppers.
Central finished the day 3-2 as a team with wins over East Rutherford (59-12), South Point (54-22) and Chase (40-39) by virtue of a tiebreaker before dropping their final two to Crest and St. Stephens.
We were so emotionally involved in that match," Central head coach Rich Cox said about the Hilltoppers' victory over Chase. "It was incredibly exciting. It was such an emotional high that I think we didn't wrestle as well in the final two matches."
A Hunter Edwards pin tied the team match on the final bout over Chase's Richard Sharek that forced the tiebreaker decided by most pins.
"Hunter's win against Sharek from Chase was huge," Cox said. "Hunter really went out and got after it."
Despite the solid start to the day, Cox seemed disappointed most of all with Central's loss to St. Stephens.
"We should have wrestled better. I've never beaten that team and they just didn't go out and do battle," Cox said of the loss to the Indians. "If we get beat that's fine, but when you get beat because you aren't going hard it's frustrating."
Central's Colin Cope shot up the state rankings with a 5-0 day including a big win over East Rutherford's Cody Hall early in the duals.
"Cody is pretty good but so is Colin," Cox said. "He's ranked in the state now and as long as he keeps his head on he'll have a strong finish to the year."
Central also got solid days from Kaleb Hines (5-0), Luke Watkins (4-1) and DJ Bradley (4-1).
East Rutherford finished the day 0-5 in large part to empty weight classes.
"We had to forfeit four weight classes in each match, which equals 24 points that we give to the other teams," said Cavaliers head coach Tim Bird. "It's hard to overcome a 24-point deficit and win team matches. As a whole though, we just didn't perform well at all. When you have to give up as many points as we do to forfeits, it's imperative that everyone wrestle to their full potential in order to have the possibility of getting a team win."
A bright spot for East came in the form of Andy VanDyke who finished the day 4-1.
"He has been showing a lot of improvement over the past few weeks," Bird said of VanDyke.
Chase head coach Adam Dedmon was unable to be reached for comment.