Just a week shy of its conference opener against rival St. Stephens, Fred T. Foard showed Wednesday it’s ready for the challenge.
The Tigers (18-1) lost only one of their 28 total matches against East Burke and Lincolnton, topping both squads in dominating fashion.
Coach Mike Carey said his team is preparing for its upcoming conference slate.
“We’re tuning up for St. Stephens next week,” he said. “That’s kind of our mindset right now. We’re getting ready for conference.”
Attempting to build a corps of young wrestlers, the Tigers sent out two freshmen and five sophomores to the mat Wednesday.
All seven wrestlers were impressive, including two pin wins by Lane Bonds, Dyland Cassidy, Caleb Bumgarner and Christian Ohmer.
Carey was impressed with what he saw from the young group.
“We had some younger kids do well,” Carey said. “We threw some younger kids out there against East Burke that haven’t wrestled a whole lot. We had about 4-5 different freshmen go out there. That was good for us to get them out there on the mat and get them excited. It gives them some confidence.”
Despite injuries to heavyweights Tanner Fleming and Ryan Christopher, the Tigers received a strong performance by Nick Rotenberry at 285.
The junior won both of his matches on the night.
“We’re trying to recover from some injuries now and get everybody back,” Carey said. “We’re down to our third-string heavyweight right now. We’re hurting there a little bit, but we’ll be fine.”
Overall, Carey said he is pleased with what he’s seen from his squad so far this season, which helps boad well for them and their long-term goals.
“I think the whole team did fine tonight,” he said. “We did a lot of good things technically, which I hope keeps us on top.”
There is one final non-conference match left on the Tigers’ schedule Friday, when they travel to North Lincoln to take on the Knights, as well as West Lincoln, SouthLake Christian and fellow county team Bandys.
Despite their No. 2 ranking in the latest dual team coaches poll, Carey said his team is enjoying the glory, but they aren’t taking anything for granted.
“It’s exciting for our kids. We know if we wrestle the worst team in the state and don’t come to wrestle, they’ll beat us. At the same time, it’s exciting for our kids and our program. It’s showing how far it came. We’re taking it with a grain of salt for sure.”
Fred T. Foard 73, East Burke 0
106: Lane Bonds (F) pin Zack Leonard; 113: Dylan Cassidy (F) pin Alex Cain; 120: Caleb Griffin (F) pin Austin Hildebrand; 126: Michael Vincent (F) major dec. Justin Chandler 11-2; 132: Alex Leatherman (F) dec. Dylan Nick 9-7; 138: Tate Blanton (F) pin Dakota Castle; 145: Deante Powell (F) won via forfeit; 152: Jeremy Fredell (F) won via forfeit; 160: Trevor Cook (F) dec. Matt Whisnant 7-4; 170: Hayden Albert (F) dec. Marvin Gaither 7-2; 182: Caleb Bumgarner (F) pin Josh Sparks; 195: Christian Ohmer (F) pin Reid Cloninger; 220: Zack Edwards (F) won via forfeit; 285: Nick Rotenberry (F) pin JD Buffamoyer.
Fred T. Foard 73, Lincolnton 6
106: Lane Bonds (F) pin TJ Steele; 113: Dylan Cassidy (F) pin TJ Queen; 120: Caleb Griffin (F) tech. fall Mikhail Publico 16-1; 126: Michael Vincent (F) won via forfeit; 132: Ben Pitts (F) pin Jake Robinson; 138: Tanner Cantrell (L) pin Brandon Johnson; 145: Jeremy Fredell (F) pin Dayton Pfenning; 152: Trevor Cook (F) pin Shane Campbell; 160: Hayden Albert (F) pin Stuart Rhea; 170: Caleb Bumgarner (F) pin Matthew Cabe; 182: Christian Ohmer (F) pin Austin Duncan; 195: Chris Finley (F) pin William Brown; 220: Zack Edwards (F) pin Nolan Shrum; 285: Nick Rotenberry (F) maj. dec. Hunter Cline 16-8.