COLUMBIA CITY — Despite offering one of the the youngest and most inexperienced opening meet lineups in his 25 years as the Bellmont head wrestling coach, Brent Faurote was smiling after the meet as his Braves rocked NHC foe Columbia City 51-19 Tuesday.
"Four freshmen in the lineup and three of them go out and get wins. That's not going to happen a lot this year, but there will be times when we do have three or four freshmen in the lineup," said Faurote.
"It's where we're at right now. We just don't have a lot of depth. These kids are going to go in there and do the best that they can, and tonight I felt pleased. We walk out of here winning 51-19 but we weren't sure coming in exactly what Columbia City had coming back or how we would match up. Obviously, we were concerned," said Faurote, whose Braves return only four starters from last year's state team finalist.
Bellmont had only two seniors in the lineup Tuesday, and only 138-pound Willie Mahlan scored a win for the class of 2013, using a corkscrew to pin Damon Blackburn in 2:58 in the third match of the night, helping Bellmont to an 18-0 lead. The Braves were without their best wrestler as 2012 state placer Brad Busse was skipping rope while his teammates competed. He will sit out Saturday's Super Dual at Yorktown as well.
"Busse is out for an Athletic Code violation, and he'll be out until the New Castle duals. He's serving his 20 percent, tonight and the five duals on Saturday (at Yorkdown). He knows he messed up. Live and learn," said the coach.
The Braves were fortunate Tuesday as the meet started with the 126-pound match, and junior Diego Hutker ignited a 27-zip run, winning a battle of headlocks for a 1:44 fall over Nathan Smith.
Brock Braun trailed 5-2, coming off of his back at 132 to stack Adam Dziabis with a side-cradle in 3:03. Mahlan ran the string to three straight falls and Trevor Love took a forfeit at 145.
Logan Neher hit two second period takedowns, ran out of steam but then held off Columbia City's Brice Bauer 6-5 at 152.
"It's the first match, so our kids had the jitters, and it's Bellmont. It's a down year for Bellmont, but they are still better than most," stated Eagles coach Blane Culp.
The Eagles were also handicapped. "We had to go without our best wrestler, Kyle Egolf, who got caught with ringworm," said the former Columbia City standout lightweight. He feels Egolf, a sophomore, will make some tournament noise this year.