Cavs go 3-0 to open wrestling season

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lakeland opened its wrestling campaign with three straight victories as the Cavaliers hosted a quad meet with Lake Taylor, Warwick and Churchland on Wednesday evening.

The Cavaliers easily defeated each of their opponents. Eight Cavalier grapplers, Seth Fisher (103), Joseph Freeman (112), Keith Whitehead (135), Ace Traynham-Willis (140), Jerald Wicks (152), Alex Sari (160), Aaron Benwell (171) and Cory Beale (189), went undefeated for the night.

The results on the mat tell much of the story about how the Lakeland team has progressed under second-year head coach John Bostwick, but there’s more the coach sees during practices and the offseason, and even at rival schools in Suffolk.

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As the Cavalier varsity team had its first matches of the season, a Lakeland JV team was competing at Western Branch Wednesday. There have been plenty of times in the past few seasons in which the Cavaliers couldn’t field a full 14-member varsity team and dropped points to forfeits.

“There’s a big difference in the wrestling room. We have a lot of young guys, but my young guys are really listening.

“The biggest thing is we’re just trying to get respect. Lakeland, in fact all the schools in Suffolk, haven’t had that in a long time,” said Bostwick, referencing Nansemond River’s rise as well.

Under second-year coach Tripp Seed’s similar program-building efforts at Nansemond River, the Warriors are off to a 7-0 start in their first two competitions. The Warriors won the Warrior Rumble on Saturday, defeating five teams.

One of Lakeland’s standouts on Wednesday was also one of the “young guys” Bostwick is eager to praise. Traynham-Willis was one of three Cavs, along with Wicks and Beale, to go 3-0 without the aid of a forfeited match.

Wicks and Beale are returning veterans for Lakeland, but Traynham-Willis is a freshman and Wednesday was his first action in competition.

Traynham-Willis showed natural speed and strength. He pinned his Lake Taylor opponent 1:39 into the match.

In the Warwick match, he was in a close battle, with the score 6-4 in his favor after one period. Traynham-Willis started in the up position to start the second period. His opponent worked to his feet, but instead of letting him escape, Traynham-Willis slammed him to the mat, quickly turned him, and pinned him, getting the win 12 seconds into the period.

Against his Churchland opponent, Traynham-Willis scored three near falls before earning a pin early in the second period and getting the loudest cheers of the night from the crowd in Lakeland’s gym.

Wicks was behind 7-4 after one period in his first match of the evening before turning it around for a 12-7 decision. Wicks proceeded to dominate his Warwick and Churchland opponents. Wicks scored one pin in 13 seconds and his second 1:13 into the match.

Beale scored two pins, one in the first period and one with 0:28 left in the second period, and a 16-0 technical fall for his three wins.

Sari, a junior who finished third in the district last season, won his two contested matches in strong form. Against Lake Taylor, Sari’s pin came in 1:08. Against his Churchland opponent, Sari led 7-2 before the match ended with the Trucker wrestler suffering a neck injury.

“If we win, (respect) takes care of itself,” said Bostwick.

Lakeland 67, Lake Taylor 12

103 – Seth Fisher (L) p. Chapacco 2:11, 119 – Shaffer (LT) p. Chase Rice 5:30, 135 – Keith Whitehead (L) d. Earle 15-1, 140 – Ace Traynham-Willis (L) p. Jordan 1:39, 145 – Aguilar (LT) p. Cory Brinkley 3:34, 152 – Jerald Wicks (L) d. Gray 13-7, 160 – Alex Sari (L) p. Cox 1:08, 189 – Cory Beale (L) p. Dean 1:35, 285 – Jeremy Britt (L) p. Takari 2:53

(112, 125, 130, 171, 215 were forfeited to Lakeland)

Lakeland 62, Warwick 18

103 – Fisher (L) p. Miller 1:06, 112 – Joseph Freeman (L) p. Leek 0:56, 125 – Lance Smith (L) p. Lee 0:54, 130 – Clark (W) p. Brandon Gonzalez 1:42, 135 – Whitehead (L) d. McCann 15-1, 140 – Traynham-Willis (L) p. Stanley 2:51, 145 – Brinkley (L) d. Acorn 14-2, 152 – Wicks (L) p. Baner 1:15, 171 – Aaron Benwell (L) p. Bates 0:45, 189 – Beale (L) d. Ferrel 16-0, 215 – Haskins (W) p. Warren Weaver 5:02, 285 – Key (W) p. Britt 3:01

(119, 160 were forfeited to Lakeland)

Lakeland 62, Churchland 18

112 – Freeman (L) p. Phelps 1:03, 119 – Rice (L) d. Parrish 12-7, 125 – Bacalis (C) p. Smith 5:18, 130 – Castro (C) p. Gonzalez 3:06, 140 – Traynham-Willis (L) p. Huggins 2:58, 145 – Wise (C) p. Brinkley 2:58, 152 – Wicks (L) p. Florendo 1:18, 160 – Sari (L) d. Bacalis inj., 171 – Benwell (L) d. Cochran 22-6, 189 Beale (L) p. McIntyre 5:36, 285 Britt (L) p. Gray 1:28

(135, 215, 103 were forfeited to Lakeland)