In the 42nd meeting of the Bellmont Braves and the Columbia City Eagles, it was BHS who came away with an impressive 57-12 victory to open the season with a win at the Teepee Tuesday night.
Bellmont, now 39-3 all-time against City, defeated the Eagles by a similar score on the road last season to open their campaign, 51-19, and they looked no less effective this time around.
"A lot of our kids were first time varsity wrestlers and they went out and did alright tonight," praised Bellmont coach Brent Faurote.
The Braves had underclassmen at seven of their 14 wrestlers in the starting line-up against the Eagles.
One of the more impressive of the young group was freshman Bryce Baumgartner who enters the high school wrestling game this season as a newbie but is by no means new to the sport.
"Bryce is an outstanding freshman," noted Faurote. "You'll see a lot of great things from him this season. That was a senior he battled with tonight and he's not going to give opponents a lot."
Baumgartner was down 2-1 after one period but came back with six points in the second eventually holding on to the lead after a scoreless final frame for the 7-3 decision against Columbia City senior Landon Hodges at 160.
Bryce enters his freshman year with impressive credentials as a national contender in middle school events winning multiple state championships and a few national titles to boot.
The Eagles actually started out the night with the first three points as Jon Becker fell victim to a 15-11 decision against Hunter Langeloh at 113. After falling behind 13-6, Becker earned three points on a near-fall flipping Langeloh on his back almost earning the fall.
"That kid is solid," noted Faurote of the Eagles' Langeloh. "He qualified for state last year and what I liked about that match was that Jon went and got right back into the match with some late points and made it interesting at the end."
Bellmont righted the ship with 16 straight points to lead by 13 on a pin from Trevor Gray over Logan Noah Ray at 120 followed by Daniel Gunsett's 12-3 major decision over Matt Wright at 126 and Diego Hutker's pin in 40 seconds over Seth Rosen at 132.......