Times Sports Editor
The Western Indiana Conference wrestling tournament is inching closer by the day and the Northview Knights claimed another victory over one of their future foes in dual action with a 59-18 home win against West Vigo.
The Knights also celebrated Senior Night in the match with six wrestlers and four-year manager, Char Herr-Smith honored before the match.
Skylar Hall, Brandon Mikesell, Eddie Sanders, Nathan Duregger, Brandon Pleake and Beau Judd all wrestled in their final regular season home match and coach Dan Mikesell was happy with their results.
Five of the seniors captured wins as Sanders won via fall in his JV match, Hall won at 119, Pleake won at 189 and Judd claimed a victory at 285. Mikesell was unable to wrestle as he recovers from surgery, but was on hand to be with his teammates. Duregger battled into the second period against one of the Vikings stronger competitors before falling.
"I was pretty happy with most of the seniors winning," Mikesell said. "I knew (Nathan) Duregger had his hands full, that was one of (West Vigo's) better kids. I thought (Duregger) wrestled him pretty tough for the first period, just got a little overpowered. He wrestled tough, Duregger is coming around. He's finally on weight, he can do some good things.
"Skyler Hall did a great job in transitioning on top to get a win and Brandon Pleake really kept his cool against his kid. I was also really happy with Eddie Sanders getting his JV win tonight.," Mikesell added.
"Beau was diagnosed with pneumonia (recently) so I'm really happy with how he battled through because he could have sat out tonight.
Judd's win at 285 was nearly the final blow to the Vikings as Shane Ryan's forfeit win at 103 sealed the win. However, the Knights got rolling at 112 pounds with a victory by pin from Caleb Nicosin. Northview earned bonus points by pinning at the 112, 119, 125 and 130-pound levels to gain a commanding 24-0 lead.
Hall rang up a 7-1 lead in the second period against Sam Bowden before sticking the Vikings for the pin in 3:40.
The biggest momentum building victory perhaps came at 125 pounds as freshman, Trey Boor came out aggressive and pinned Gage Lynch for a victory in just 59 seconds.
"I was real happy with Trey Boor. That was his first win ever and that was a good time to do it for the seniors, that's why everyone was so excited," Mikesell said. "I think the team really rallied around (Boor). He's been working so hard to get a win. (I'm) just real happy he did it."
Austin Bell finished off the 24-point run to start the match by pinning Jacob Herrington at 130 pounds.
The Vikings got on the board at 135 with a pin, but Baylor Girton claimed six points via injury default at 140 pounds over Jacob Cobble.
Leading 36-12 heading into the 160-pound match, Larry Shaffer had a narrow 3-2 lead after two periods before opening the third with a pivotal reversal and escape for a three-point swing. The maneuver gave Shaffer a 6-2 lead and he built on that to claim a 14-2 major decision win.
Pleake followed by gaining a 5-0 lead after four minutes of time and continued to build upon that despite his opponent getting penalized for a shove after the whistle. Pleake continued on to win 13-3 against Blake Ray at 189 pounds.
At 215, Aaron See nearly lost the match in the early moments as he got caught on his back and fell behind 5-0 in the opening period. However, he stayed focused and eventually climbed back to take a 6-5 lead to start the third period before earning a pin in 4:43.
"I'm happy for all our seniors too, it's been a good four years and a great group. I'm going to miss them next year," Mikesell said.
Herr-Smith has been a part of the Northview wrestling program for seven years and has been the high school manager through all four of her own high school career and Mikesell appreciated all the work she does despite not seeing much of the limelight.
"If you look at all of our plaques since I've been here, winning conference, (Char) is in every one of them," Mikesell said. "You can kind of see her grow up. She doesn't get a lot of credit all the time, but I couldn't do all the things I do without her."
The Knights head to the Sullivan Winter Duals on Saturday before the Jan. 22 WIC Tourney.
"This will be good for conference seeds for a lot of those guys. I think they only beat us in three weight classes, that's a good boost. Now we've beaten every team in the conference in a dual meet," Mikesell said. "Now we just have to make sure we're ready to go (Jan. 22). The target is on our back so we have to work hard to distance ourselves from everybody."
Northview 59, West Vigo 18
103 -- Shane Ryan (Nv) wins by forfeit
112 -- Caleb Nicosin (Nv) wins by fall over Trey Archer (WV), 4:00
119 -- Skyler Hall (Nv) wins by fall over Sam Bowden (WV), 3:40
125 -- Trey Boor (Nv) wins by fall over Gage Lynch (WV), 0:59
130 -- Austin Bell (Nv) wins by fall over Jacob Herrington (WV), 1:51
135 -- Jacob Creasey (WV) wins by fall over Brandon Gillespie (WV), 3:40
140 -- Baylor Girton (Nv) wins by injury default over Jacob Cobble
145 -- Nick Kellams (WV) wins by fall over Zach Mishler (Nv), 1:26
152 -- Brody Girton (Nv) wins by forfeit
160 -- Larry Shaffer (Nv) wins by major decision over Caleb Anderson (WV), 14-2
171 -- Ben Bird (WV) wins by fall over Nathan Duregger (Nv), 3:59
189 -- Brandon Pleake (Nv) wins by major decision over Blake Ray (WV), 13-3
215 -- Aaron See (Nv) wins by fall over Dustin Montgomery (WV), 4:43
285 -- Beau Judd (Nv) wins by decision over Nick Brownfield (WV), 1-0