CLAYSBURG - Freshmen are supposed to be intimidated in a big dual meet like the one unbeatens Chestnut Ridge and Claysburg-Kimmel were involved in Tuesday night before a large crowd.
Someone forgot to tell the three Ridge freshmen in the lineup.
All three - Derrick Claar at 113, Trent Crouse at 120 and Colby Hillegass at 132 - won their bouts, including Crouse's gymnasium rattling pin of Clayton Claar, to lead the Lions, ranked fourth in the Mirror rankings, to a stunning 46-19 win over the second-ranked Bulldogs.
"The freshmen stepped up," Ridge coach Greg Lazor said. "They haven't been in awe once. They step up to the battle. They fight. They scrap. They make mistakes. We work on that each week, and then we try to get better."
"That was a pretty thorough butt whooping," C-K coach Dave Marko said. "You have to give Chestnut Ridge all the credit in the world. They outhearted us. They won every close match. They wrestled all night like they wanted it more. I had on paper that 113, 120 and 132 as sort of flip-flops, but I really like our chances in those matches."
Ridge sophomore Austin Buttry is facing a height disadvantage in most of his bouts, but that didn't stop him from earning a 9-1 meet-opening major decision over Titus Feathers.
After C-K's top-ranked 106-pounder Josh Brown pinned Sam Shank in 1:20, Claar reversed Nathan Sell with 35 seconds to tie the score, nearly turned Sell at the end of regulation and took the C-K vet down 17 seconds into overtime to win, 4-2.
"Great win," Lazor said. "Sell is a top-notch opponent. Claar is a freshman getting his first true stud test. He kept pushing and pushing and pushing, and he wanted it."
Crouse and Claar were tied, 2-2, in the first period when Crouse hit a headlock from the bottom position, put Claar on his back and pinned him in 1:39. As the Lions and their fans erupted in celebration, Claar was pointing toward the ceiling. When he got back to the bench, he was lifted up toward the ceiling.
"Crouse did it last week for us in the last match [against North Star]," Lazor said, "and he did it again this week. He's a little fireball."
"I felt pretty confident," Crouse said. "I heard he threw lots of headlocks, so I stayed out of the tieups and just tried to stay on his legs. I thought that was pretty awesome. I'm just a freshman coming into a varsity team."
C-K's Kalib Weyandt stopped Ridge's run with a 9-2 win over Zach Etterman at 126, but Hillegass, filling in for Jeremiah Zimmerman, survived a wild bout with fellow freshman Cole Hypes, 15-12. Hillegass tied the score, 12-12, with a takedown with 30 seconds left, and he tilted Hypes for three nearfall points to win, 15-12.
"We moved Hillegass up for a reason," Lazor said. "He's a solid freshman. We have faith in him."
C-K's big guns, James Dodson at 138 and Ty Dively at 145, came through with a pin and a major decision of Dustin Bence and Shane Pfaunmiller, respectively, for the Bulldogs' last lead (19-16) and last win of the night.
At 152, Kyle Winegardner built a 9-2 lead on Connor Brown before pinning him in 3:07. Kavan Holderbaum hit a cement job to pin Ethan Miller in 2:52 at 160 and give the Lions a 28-19 lead.
Ridge's Matt Dull was called for slamming Bulldog junior Cameron Strayer in the first period, but Strayer continued to wrestle after the timeout. He took another injury timeout in the third, but he later took a 5-4 lead. Dull, however, reversed with 33 seconds left to win, 6-5.
At 182, Tyler Dibert used a first-period take and a second-period escape to beat Tyler Ickes, 3-0. Pins by Luke Fochtman and Dan Albright at 195 and 220, respectively, closed the night.
"I think we wrestled great," Lazor said. "They didn't give in to anything. We wrestled without a couple guys again tonight, and no one skipped a beat."
The Lions will now set their sights on rival and top-ranked Bedford in a home match Thursday.
"It's going to be tough," Lazor said, "but we're going to have fun, I know that."
Notes: The C-K cheerleaders presented a flower to Brian Corle's family before the match. There was also a moment of silence for Corle, who was killed in an automobile accident during football season. ... Ridge is 4-0, while C-K is 2-1.
285-Buttry, CR, maj. dec. Feathers, 9-1; 106-J. Brown, CK, pinned Shank, 1:20; 113-Claar, CR, dec. Sell, 4-2 OT; 120-Crouse, CR, pinned Claar, 1:39; 126-Weyandt, CK, dec. Etterman, 9-2; 132-Hillegass, CR, dec. Hypes, 15-12; 138-Dodson, CK, pinned Bence, :48.
145-Dively, CK, maj. dec. Pfaunmiller, 10-0; 152-Winegardner, CR, pinned C. Brown, 3:07; 160-Holderbaum, CR, pinned Miller, 2:52; 170-Dull, CR, dec. Strayer, 6-5; 182-Dibert, CR, dec. Ickes, 3-0; 195-Fochtman, CR, pinned Burkett, 1:01; 220--Albright, CR, pinned Knisely, 2:24.
Records: Chestnut Ridge (4-0); Claysburg-Kimmel (2-1).