BERNE — With only five experienced wrestlers in the lineup, and yielding 24 points worth of forfeits in each round, Barry Humble's South Adams wrestlers went a respectable 2-3 in the 13th annual Spencer Haworth Invitational Saturday.
Delta, after a surprising 44-43 win over Jay County, took top team honors at 5-0. Jay lost just the one time while Union City and Woodlan both went 2-3 and Eastbrook 0-5.
"Today, our kids wrestled with enthusiasm, and really stepped up," stated Humble, who took the reins this year at South Adams after a successful seven-year stint by Eric Myers, now an assistant coach at Jay County.
"Our 10 beat every ten that we wrestled. I feel good about that. We wrestled so much better than we did Thursdsay night," said Humble, who built the Adams Central program from 1971-1991.
"We're going to get better, and we did look so much better than in our opener Thursday with Garrett," he added, of the 54-17 ACAC setback.
Four South Adams wrestlers went unbeaten on the day, and heavyweight Andrew Beachey lost only to 2013 state placer Eric Hemmelgarn of Jay County.
Senior 195-pounder Klayton Hinshaw, who knocked off the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the semi-state in Woodlan's Brian Salmon, led the unscathed group of Starfires. Also going 5-0 were 120-pounder Sawyer Miller, Boaz Marbach at 145, and Kyle Kilsby at 220 pounds. Matt Nussbaum went 4-1 at 138.
I knew coming in that Salmon was going to be a handful. I was loose and didn't get too worked up," said Hinshaw, who needed an overtime takedown to secure the 8-6 win.
"He hit a bad shot and I snuck around and got my two. It ws probably one of the best matches of my career," added Klayton, who scored a takedown and reversal to beat a solid Aaron Burk of Union City 4-3 later in the day.
"Can't get too excited about these matches now. Still have the tournaments and sectional. A long way to go," said the senior.
Two-time state placer Sawyer Miller, just a junior, pinned his way through the day, and Marbach had four falls and a tech fall for the Starfires.
Humble pointed out that seven wrestlers who participated last year for South Adams did not come out this season, including two wrestlers with over 20 victories.
The 44-year coach has been recruiting and now has 17 on the squad. He points out that two more rookies will become eligible for Thursday's match with Adams Central, and two more on Saturday.