Warriors drop district duals, but heading in right direction

Published 9:57 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

CHESAPEAKE – Nansemond River lost its first two Southeastern District duals of the season on Wednesday against Indian River and 18-time state champion Great Bridge.

The Warriors had some superb individual results in each match even though Indian River prevailed 46-30 and Great Bridge won 42-22. Conor O’Hara (189), Mike Towner (289) and Antoine Hardy (103) led the Warriors with two victories each.

Even with the team score on Wednesday night, NR head coach Tripp Seed, in his second season with the Warriors, sees how the program is growing.

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First of all, the losses were the first dual match losses of the season for the Warriors who now stand with a 7-2 mark. Two Saturdays ago, the Warriors won the First Annual Warrior Rumble at Nansemond River with a 5-0 record.

This past weekend, Nansemond River finished fifth in the Denbigh Invitational with O’Hara and Deshon Eure (130) winning individual titles and Nick Badoian (140) finishing second.

Just as exciting for Seed is the tournament title won by the JV Warriors at Denbigh.

“They won by about 40 points. And we have mostly eighth graders on the team. It was a very good tournament for them and they wrestled mostly against upperclassmen,” said Seed.

C.J. Hubbard (135) won his class in the JV tournament. Overall, the very existence of a strong, growing JV program is a big step for Nansemond River’s program.

“We’ve come a long way in two years,” said Seed. “It’s still going to take a lot of work, but our offseason work has improved most of all and that’s when guys really make progress.”

On Wednesday at Great Bridge, the Warriors won five matches against Indian River, which was third in the district a year ago; then four matches against the perennial power Wildcats. If not for two forfeited weight classes against Indian River, the Warriors could’ve had a shot at knocking off the Braves.

After two Indian River wins put the Braves out to a 9-0 lead, O’Hara put the Warriors on the board with a one-sided win. O’Hara had a 12-1 lead by the time he scored a pin with 0:29 left in the third period.

Damien Bester (215) and Towner followed with pins for the Warriors. Both big men used quick moves to suddenly win their matches.

Bester swept low to gain an advantage and put his opponent on one leg then swept the one planted leg away and quickly turned the slam into a pin.

Towner trailed 9-4 after two periods. Starting in the down position to start the final period, Towner escaped, took his opponent down with a lock on his head and one arm, and powered his way to a pin 20 seconds into the period.

After Indian River forfeited at 103, NR led 24-9. The Braves won the next four matches to take a 28-24 lead.

At 135, Matt Krogsund, who was MVP of the Warrior Rumble, scored a pin 31 seconds into the second period. Krogsund’s win put the Warriors back in front, 30-28, but the Braves won the last three classes to win the match.

O’Hara defeated his Great Bridge opponent 17-5 in the second contest of NR’s second match. In the heavyweight class, Towner trailed again, 3-2 after a period, before a sudden show of power and mobility resulted in a reversal and pin 21 seconds into the second period.

After winning by forfeit against Indian River, A. Hardy won with a pin 1:25 into the match against Great Bridge. With Hardy’s win, the Warriors led 16-6.

From there, Great Bridge won eight straight bouts. Even with the final result wrapped up, the final bout of the evening for the Warriors turned up a major surprise.

Terrance Hardy, wrestling at 160 after wrestling at 152 at the Warrior Rumble, was losing 14-3 in the final seconds of the match against GB’s Gary Ochs. In one move, all of which was about three seconds, Hardy reversed a hold by Ochs, forced his weight directly down through his opponent’s chest, and had a pin and a victory out of nowhere.

The Warriors are off until after Christmas and Dec. 30-31 and the Great Bridge Invitational.