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Josh Carman records 100th win, girls compete in dual meet, boys win at Licking Valley
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By Carol McIntire
Carrollton wrestlers opened the Eastern Buckeye Conference (EBC)season with a win, claimed the team title at the Licking Valley Invitational and celebrated Josh Carman’s 100th career victory over the past week.
The team also made history as the Carrollton girls wrestling team competed in its first dual meet since being organized in November 2022.
Carman, a junior, set the tone for a 43-27 win over Marlington with a 57-second pin over the Dukes’ Taylor Buehler in the first match of the night. The 138-pounder picked up the 100th win of his career in his semifinal match at the Licking Valley Invitational Jan. 7.
Carman pinned Andre Mercier of Newark (1:00) in the first round, Blayn Wilson of Maysville (1:59) and Nick Drumm of Utica (1:40) for his 99th win. In the semifinals, Carman posted a 19-3 technical fall over Nico Richards of Newark Catholic for his 100th win. He went on to win the championship match with a 3-2 decision over Cael Gilmore of Highland.
Kail Snair claimed the 113-pound championship with a pin (1:21) of Noah Curry of Licking Valley. Snair won every match he wrestled by pin: Aidan Conn of John Glenn (:28), round one; Wyatt Bennett of Utica (2:23), round 3; Drake Jenkins of Warren (:49); Brendan Lester of Highland (1:00), semifinals: and Noah Curry of Licking Valley (1:21) for the championship title.
Carrollton won the team title in the 16-team field with 254 points. New Lexington placed second with 208 and Licking Valley third with 200.5.
The Warriors picked up second place points from Levi Pidgeon (126) and Landon Jenkins (106); third Adam Bennett (150), Ben Zinda (190) and Owen Spilker (215); fourth Aiden Shaw (HWT), fifth John Childs (120), Ryan Kiko (144); and seventh Raiden Robinson (157) and Darrion DePalmo (165).
Coach Joe McGee was proud of the effort his team put forth in the EBC opener at Marlington and excited to add a girls program to the roster.
“It was a great atmosphere having youth, middle school, girls and varsity boys all going on at the same time. It brought in a good crowd and is just good for the sport,” McGee stated.
Carrollton sports a team of 11 wrestlers in the girls program, but Marlington sent only two wrestlers to the mat, limiting the number of Warriors to take the mat.
Carrollton’s Izzy Nuzzolillo (100 lbs.) was pinned by Maddy Dean (104) of Marlington in the third period and Warrior Alyssa Detchon (115) lost by pin to Lillian Pulka in the first period.
Carrollton won the first four matches to set the tone for the match.
After Snair kicked off the match with a pin, Ryan Kicko picked up a forfeit at 144 lbs. and Adam Bennett (150) posted a 4-0 decision. Dalton Sweeney’s 48-second pin put the Warriors up 21-0. The Dukes weren’t going down without a fight and won the next three matches by pin to pull to within 21-18.
Owen Spilker (215 lbs.) led off a stretch where the visitors won six of the next seven matches to secure the win. The junior’s 4-2 decision swung the momentum back to Carrollton behind a vocal Warrior crowd. Spilker recorded a takedown in the first period and an escape in the second for 3-0 lead. The Duke’s Wester earned a reversal in the third period and then let Spilker up for an escape point, hoping to take down the 215-pound Warrior, but failed to do so as time expired.
Landon Jenkins (106) picked up a 10-4 win, followed by Kail Snair’s pin in 44 seconds. Carrollton freshman John Childs (120 lbs.) won by pin in 1:21 to stretch the lead to 39-2. Levi Pidgeon (126 lbs.) posted a 12-0 decision and Jimmy Little (132 lbs.) closed out the match with a pin in 1:17.
“The boys came out and wrestled tough, McGee said. “We did what was needed and took care of our goal. It’s always good to start out with a win…hopefully it sets the tone for our boys the rest of the season.”
The veteran Carrollton coach had praise for the effort of the Dukes as well.
“They’ve had some down years recently, but Andy (Lamancusa) is doing a great job building back. They were very tough previously to having those down years,” he said.
With the win, the Warriors improved its dual meet record to 13-3 on the season.
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