Northwest completes sweep of Western
The Northwest College wrestling team used its superiority at the lighter weights to capture a 28-19 dual victory over Western Wyoming and remain unbeaten this season. The Trappers won five of the nine matches wrestled on Tuesday night and also picked up a forfeit win at 184 pounds.
“I’m pleased,” said Trapper head wrestling coach Jim Zeigler. “It was a nice match for us and a nice victory. It was good to be wrestling at home.”
Rock Springs freshman Cody Vichi got the night off to a solid start for the Trappers. Vichi spent most of the match in control of Western’s Adrian Avelar, eventually breaking through to register a win by fall midway through the third period.
“Cody was patient and just methodically picked his man apart until he saw the best time to go for a pin, and then he got it,” said Zeigler.
Ben Jorgensen followed with an 11-8 decision over Western sophomore Caleb Walker. Walker led early in the match, but Jorgensen caught up in the second period and pressed his advantage in the third.
Payson, Utah, freshman Zach Loveless dominated his match at 141 pounds from start to finish. The ending came with 35 seconds remaining in the second period as he scored a win by fall to stretch the Trappers’ lead to 15-0 on the scoreboard.
Western Wyoming got on the dual scoreboard in the 149-pound match. Jeff McCormick fell by a 7-1 final count. The Trappers immediately recovered the points as sophomore Colton Thornton struck for a 6-1 decision victory at 157.
Diorian Coleman added four more points to the Trappers’ total as he worked over Western Wyoming’s Austin Beaman to the tune of a 12-2 major decision victory. Both of Beaman’s points came as the Trappers opted to intentionally cut Beaman loose for escapes in order to allow Coleman to use his speed advantage to generate additional takedowns.
“I thought Diorian was just outstanding,” said Zeigler. “He wrestled strong. He was a real crowd-pleaser, out there smiling. He’s just such a pleasant kid to work with and I’m proud of him.”
With Coleman’s victory at 165 pounds, the Trappers led 22-3, and would later pick up a forfeit win at 184 pounds as Cole McArthur stepped onto the mat unopposed for Northwest College, effectively locking up the dual victory for the Trappers.
Much of the action at the upper weights belonged to Western, however. Powell freshman Randy Andrews suffered a 17-4 major decision loss at 174 pounds. Still, Andrews preserved points for the Trappers by fighting off both an attempt by Western’s Ross Taylor to end the match in the second period via fall and a turn attempt that would potentially have provided the Mustangs a technical fall victory.
“Credit Randy for continuing to fight and not give up those bonus points,” said Zeigler. “He kept working and kept fighting.”
Western Wyoming closed out the dual with a pair of quick wins by fall as both the Trappers’ Braden Gibson (197) and Jade Parsons (285) were pinned midway through the first period of their matches.
The Trappers are now 6-0 in dual action this season. That unbeaten record will be tested this weekend as Northwest travels to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to face rival North Idaho on Friday. The Trappers stay in Idaho on Saturday for duals against Clackamas and Southwest Oregon.
Due to the realignment of NJCAA wrestling this season, all three duals are against regional opponents for the Trappers. Friday’s dual also represents the first half of the annual Moose Cup challenge between Northwest and North Idaho.
“These will be big duals, because every match will potentially have regional seeding implications down the road,” said Zeigler. “We’ll definitely be tested against North Idaho. They’re the No. 1 team in the nation right now. They’re healthy and most of their guys are ranked. It’ll be a test.”
The duals also serve as Northwest’s final action of the fall semester. After Saturday, the team will not compete again until Jan. 5 at the Utah Valley Open tournament.