Eagles Top Raiders for 2nd Place

Doug Smith, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, January 24, the Eagles Wrestling team found itself preparing and suiting up for another intense match. The Eagles were far from their comfort zones though as they gathered in Saint Mary’s County to face off against the Raiders of Leonardtown.

A lot was on the line that night because both teams were on winning streaks and had no intentions of letting them end. Besides that, both of these teams were tied for second in SMAC, but by the end of the night that would change one way or the other. Head Coach Pauole admitted that it was going to be a rough and tough night where his experienced wrestlers would have to make things happen when need be. Senior wrestler KeJuan Perez (’12) got things started in his heavyweight match-up. Knowing how important his match was, he took matters into his own hands, pinning his opponent five minutes and forty six seconds into the bout.  With things in the Eagles’ favor, they didn’t plan on letting that change, as North Point wrestlers Kyle Gascon (’14) and Dominic Summers (’14) battled it out with their opponents, each managing low scoring victories.

This success for the Eagles began to diminish as they allowed the Raiders to crawl back into the game, winning three straight matches. Things weren’t going well for the Eagles. They looked lifeless and needed someone or something to get them excited to compete. Senior Sean Mulloy (’12) wrestled next and, thankfully for the Eagles, he was the spark they needed as he turned things around, picking up an 8-3 victory. Yet again it was do or die. The North Point Wrestlers didn’t want to disappoint, and they didn’t as they took the next three matches from the Raiders gaining a short safe lead. For some reason the old saying “It’s not over till the fat lady sings” continued to haunt the Eagles as, once again, the home team had came out of now where to provide some hope in taking home a victory.

With only three matches left for the night, Coach Pauole gathered his troops and laid down the law. If anything, mistakes and mess-ups couldn’t occur now as these last match-ups would determine which team would be celebrating and taking over second place in SMAC. It turned out that the celebrating was North Point. The Eagles won the last two out of three matches: Curtis Gibson (’12) came up huge with a pin one minute and forty seconds in and Julian Hurst (’12) was able to knock his opponent off when it mattered with a 6-4.  Coach Pauole stated that his team, “Wrestled great, but they buckled down when it needed to happen and it was a decent match”. He also stated “some of the guys tonight lost but kept their matches close which is very important when it comes to scoring” With this win the Eagles have moved on to second in SMAC and hold a 7-1 conference record.