By David Allen
WAKE FOREST — The Wake Forest wrestling team faced off on the mat against Leesville Road Thursday night and came away with a 39-34 victory.
The Cougars dominated the bigger weight classes, and were able to hold out in key matches preventing the Pride pin.
There were some standout matches of the night. One of which was Wake Forest’s Bryson Hester’s against Corey Kennedy in the 182 weight class. Hester started the match going full tilt and immediately went to grapple. In a show of strength and speed he quickly threw his opponent to the mat but misjudged the fall which allowed Kennedy to get the upper hand. Down but not out, Hester bucked the Pride wrestler completely off and flipped around to get the pin.
“I was thinking on my feet, and when he slung me around I was able to see where he was and got his head.” said Hester. “I knew my doubles were strong so I tested the waters and got a feel for him.”
Another powerful match was by Nashid Barrow who wrestled the Pride’s Michael Henderson in the 145 weight class.
Barrow showed complete control of the match, taking Henderson to the mat multiple times and allowing it to go back to neutral giving himself an easier time of fighting for the pin without straining on the mat more than he wanted to. Barrow utilized his incredible speed to force his opponent to the ground until he finally came away with six points.
Joey “The Glare” Hannum was also exciting to watch as he took control of his match against Jason Mills in the 106 class. Unfortunately, his previous shoulder injury was pulled again which forced him to exit the match and be given a medical forfeit. Joey is expected to return to the mat in short time.
“It made me mad honestly, and that got to me,” said teammate Nick Mutio when asked what his reaction was to Hannum’s injury. “He’s a big part of this team and it’s sad to see an injury like that, he’s a top player of ours.“
Assistant coach Rob Woyicki spoke about the night’s results. “I tell you what, senior night is one of the best nights of the year. This class itself was especially fun this season, and I’m going to miss these guys a lot. As the seniors go, they did a great job tonight, they really came through and I think they scored 30 of the 39 points tonight. Without that input from their leadership we don’t get wins like that.” he continued. “These guys are teammates, they’re close, they play here and away in clubs. That makes this group as great as it is and is what makes it fun.”
Wake Forest, now 11-3, will play Sanderson next on a soon to be decided make-up day.