Wrestling defends their mat


Amelia Davidson

Sophomore wrestler Ahmeil Keys goes for a pin. Cale Holt listed him as a wrestler to keep an eye on this season.

The wrestling team faced off against Benson and Grant for their senior night on Jan. 11. The Mountain Lions dominated the Techmen duel, winning 84-0. The Grant matchup was much closer, but McDaniel came out on top 39-36 in a duel that came down to the last couple wrestlers.

When the team played against Benson, not one wrestler lost resulting in a shutout win. Almost all the wrestlers got pins, with the exception of athletes that collected forfeits due to Benson not having a full lineup of wrestlers.

The Grant matchup was a lot tighter, ending in a 39-36 win for McDaniel. The first few matches were exhibition matches, meaning they didn’t count towards the team score. There were also women’s wrestling matchups.

Senior Dezire Solis, who placed second at districts last year, started off the meet with a pin in the first round on senior night. Grant took an early 0-3 lead with a win on points, but McDaniel came right back with a pin from freshman Lupine Reeves to make it 6-3.

Reeves was pretty happy with how his match went against Grant.

“I think it went pretty good,” Reeves stated. “I feel like I could’ve been more offensive, but I got the job done as quickly as possible.”

Grant then tied up the meet with a win on points, making it 6-6. Senior Zach Puckett returned the blow with a pin to make it 12-6.

Sophomore Ethan Holstein then came up next and won on points in a close match making it 15-6, giving the team their biggest lead. Grant then secured a pin making it 15-12. Sophomore Elio Parque got the lead right back to nine for McDaniel with another pin.

Parque talked about resilience in his match and how he kept pushing.

“I was not doing too well the first round, but in the second round he got tired, and I just kept pushing,” Parque emphasized. “That’s what won me the match. I just kept pushing through even though I was tired.”

Grant then got another pin to keep the lead within three. Senior Lane Shaffer got a quick pin in the first round giving McDaniel the lead right back to nine.

Both teams went back and forth with Grant getting six points by pin, then McDaniel getting a pin right after them until the score was 33-30 with two matches left to go.

The pressure was on for freshman Isiah Snyder to get the pin and win it for McDaniel, which is exactly what he did. The score was 39-30, securing the win for McDaniel regardless of the final match. Grant finished with a pin, making the final score 39-36 McDaniel.

Coach Cale Holt believes that Grant is a team that will be one of their toughest competitors in the PIL.

Just a week before this matchup, the team faced Lincoln and Cleveland at home. The result was a double loss for McDaniel. However, this match-up shows how much this team has improved in just a week by getting a double win.

While the team beat Grant, there are still many other difficult teams that they have to face at districts this year, according to Coach Cale Holt.

“Jefferson and Cleveland for sure. Jefferson is a team that we’re gonna face down the line and Franklin too. Even though we [McDaniel] beat them they still beat Cleveland so we gotta watch out for them too,” Holt explained.

The team is also looking to improve and learn after their matchup against Grant.

“Personally I think I could’ve done better by playing more offensive and trying out some moves cause I knew that my opponent was a little bit more of a beginner than me,” Reeves mentioned.

As the season progresses, there are some wrestlers to look out for the rest of the year, Holt shared.

“Lane Shaffer, he could make a run for the state title; Isaiah Snyder right now is ranked top 15, he could make it in district titles. And to throw a couple names out there Ethan Holstein, he could make a really good run along with Mohamed Fofanah, Ahmeil Keys, Lupine Reeves as well, and on the girls side Dezire Solis,” Holt stated.

McDaniel has defended their home mat, beating Benson 84-0 and Grant 39-36.