Lakeland falls in wrestling meet

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lakeland senior 170-pound wrestler Corey Hubbard wrestles during the Cavaliers' home matches on Wednesday against Indian River and Hickory. The Cavaliers lost as a team to both schools, but Hubbard was one of three Lakeland wrestlers to record wins against Indian River.

The Lakeland High School varsity wrestling team played its first matches at home on Wednesday against Hickory and Indian River high schools. The Cavaliers fell to both teams, 61-0 and 54-18, respectively.

“A superior wrestler is one that can control the whole match, one that can impose his will on his opponent,” Cavaliers head coach Jamaal Jones said. “We did that with one match, but we didn’t do it in both matches.”

As a team, Lakeland did not have wrestlers to fill the 113, 145, 160, 182, 195 and 285-pound weight classes, resulting in 36 points forfeited against both Hickory and Indian River.

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Pressing on, though, senior Corey Hubbard, junior Blade Hubbard and sophomore Bruce Odom recorded wins against wrestlers from Indian River.

Corey Hubbard, wrestling in the 170-pound weight class, went 1-1 on the day and felt his technique and the calm approach he took to his winning match was what made the difference. In the losing effort against Hickory, he knew what he should have done.

“Push the pace, make him wrestle my match, stay in his face,” he said.

Hubbard previously went 3-0 at the Caroline Invitational on Dec. 8 to win the tournament.

Blade Hubbard wrestled in the 132-pound division and also went 1-1 on Wednesday. He felt mostly positive about the matches against Indian River and Hickory.

“I think it went fairly well,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the season, was trying to do new stuff.”

He said he had fun and repeated the important things Jones was instructing him to do during the matches.

“Stay calm, stay behind him, keep pressure,” he said.

Jones also helped Hubbard understand what he needed to correct from his loss against Hickory.

“I feel like if I would have wrestled a little bit smarter and not tried to muscle the kid, I would have done a little better,” Hubbard said.

Odom wrestled as a 126-pounder, splitting his two matches like the Hubbards.

“I was pleased with that,” Jones said. “He’s actually doing a lot better. He still has a lot to work on.

I think a lot of the guys are just finding out that wrestling is not only a physical sport, but it’s a mental sport as well.”

“First match was pretty good,” Odom said. “I was proud of myself.”

His key to victory was simple.

“I did what my coach told me,” he said. “I crossfaced.”

Jones explained that to crossface, a wrestler takes his forearm and presses it across the bridge of his opponent’s nose. This would be the appropriate tactic when the opponent has the wrestler’s leg wrapped up.

“It really hurts because the bone in your forearm pretty much rubs against the bone in (their) nose,” Jones said. “It’s a deterrent — for them to let your leg go.”

Jones gave an honest grade based on his team’s overall scores, but he was positive about the future.

“Overall, I give us about a C-plus,” he said. “ It just tells me that we have more work to do. Come back, drill, drill, drill, continue to drill and get better. And we will get better. I have full confidence in that we will get better.”

Lakeland’s next scheduled matches take place on Jan. 2 at Grassfield High School, where it will face Great Bridge, Western Branch and Grassfield.