SULLIVAN -- Northview accomplished several goals in wrapping up the wrestling regular season on Saturday afternoon. The Knights won the Sullivan Winter Duals meet, going a perfect 3-0 on the day and also saw Justin Sampson complete a 30-0 regular season at 285 pounds. Sampson is the first Northview wrestler to accomplish the feat as former Knights, Corey Grigsby was 33-1 as a junior and Chris Dean was 34-1 in his senior season. It is also the most wins without a loss in school history.
The Knights opened up competition against Lawrenceville, Ill. and came away with a hard fought 36-24 victory against an up and coming program.
Lawrenceville has been making steady progress as a team the past couple of years and really had me worried. We bumped up Shane Ryan and Stephen Gibson even though they worked hard to get to lower weight class and the double forfeit at 113 proved to be the difference," Northview coach Dan Mikesell said. "I was really proud of their effort and attitude for this match. Both wrestled well. Sampson had one of the toughest kids we've seen in a while and controlled the match for a 3-0 decision. Jackson Copper came from behind with 10 seconds left with a reversal and near fall, it was an exciting finish. Coan Williams wrestled very well and secured a takedown with about 30 seconds left for a close decision."
Cale McCoy and Trance Kelley won by pins along with Jesse Miller, Gibson and Sampson. Ryan won a 7-0 decision, Copper won 13-10 and Williams scored a 6-5 victory.
In the second match of the day, the Knights secured a 47-20 win over Evansville Harrison as Gibson, Kelley, Copper, Williams and Trey Boor all earned pins. Miller won via forfeit, Zach Williams won 6-2, Sampson won 6-0 and McCoy won via technical fall.
"Harrison always has several quality kids and this year was no different. We had some great efforts in this match led by senior Zach Williams. Early in the match he took a head butt to the nose," Mikesell said. "I thought it was broken but the trainer said it was dislocated. She popped it back in place and said it was up to him to continue. I was pretty proud of his effort and he ended up winning the match. They had a forfeit at 220, but decided to bump up to avoid Jesse Miller so it was real satisfying for Zach to win the way he did."
The final match of the day was a preview of what could be a very exciting Western Indiana Conference battle on Saturday.
The Knights got pins from Miller, Williams, Sampson, McCoy, Ryan and Boor with Gibson scoring a 7-4 victory as the Knights edged past the host Golden Arrows by a 39-38 score.
"We have been waiting a year to wrestle Sullivan again. We go to the same camp they do and it is turning into a nice rivalry. They have some real good kids in the middle part of the line-up and we knew it was going to be close," Mikesell said. "We got out to a nice start winning the first 6 of 7 bouts, but then they got on a roll and charged a comeback. Scotty McGuffin didn't win his bout but his effort not to get pinned was the deciding factor in the meet. We are two very even teams it should set up a nice WIC tournament next week. It'll be very close with four teams that have a legitimate shot to win.
The Knights enter the postseason on Saturday with a trip to West Vigo for the Western Indiana Conference Meet at 10 a.m.