Bulldog wrestling presses on

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

King's Fork junior Aaron Hommell puts pressure on Drew Van Derostyne of Grassfield and prevailed on an 8-1 decision during Wednesday night's meet at King's Fork High School. Hommell was the only Bulldog to win over the course of three dual meets on Wednesday, and he did it twice.

The King’s Fork wrestling program is facing obstacles to success on multiple fronts, and the struggle showed on Wednesday night as it lost at home in three consecutive dual meets.

Junior 160-pound wrestler Aaron Hommell was the only wrestler from KF to win on the night as Indian River defeated the Bulldogs 69-3, Grassfield won by the same score and Great Bridge won 81-0.

KF head coach Brett Heberling explained the mindset he was employing on Wednesday night as the Bulldogs’ difficult season continued.

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“I was going like I’ve been doing — and I think we’ve gotten pretty good at it — is going match-by-match, move-by-move with the kids,” he said. “Do I expect them to win every one? Do I expect them to win a lot of them? No, that’s not what we’re necessarily looking for. We’re looking to see if they’re getting better from their last time they were on the mat.”

“They weren’t intimidated at all by the Chesapeake schools, which I was very pleased with,” Heberling said. “I’ve had guys in the past where they’ve gone out there, they’ve wrestled against a Great Bridge or Grassfield or somebody that’s a top team in the district and they get scared.”

Hommell won twice, first on a 6-4 decision over Indian River’s Nick Chalk. Then he defeated Drew Van Derostyne on an 8-1 decision.

One of the major hurdles for King’s Fork is a lack of experience.

“The only guys that have any experience with us are Andy (Hall), who was an eighth grader last year at 113 (pounds), Aaron and Bailey (Wall),” Heberling said.

A notable absence from that list is junior Austin Wall, who opted out of the program earlier this year. Wall had 49 wins after two years and was on pace to be the first wrestler at King’s Fork to get 100.

Injury has also been an issue for the Bulldogs. It was one factor in Wall’s decision, and sophomore Michael Lewis, who was leading the team in pins, has ligament damage in his wrist, which may sideline him for the remainder of the season.

Many Chesapeake schools benefit from pre-high school training programs that feed experienced wrestlers to varsity teams.

“I’ve said it in the past, and I’m sure I’ll say it in the future — not having a feeder program is torture on us,” Heberling said. “That and the numbers.”

Heberling referred to the tiny pool of wrestlers he has to pull from, which forced the Bulldogs to forfeit seven weight classes per meet on Wednesday.

Heberling, who teaches at King’s Fork Middle School, had a feeder program ready to go with school approval when the economic crisis made it unfeasible.

But Heberling knows that his team must press on, and he shared what he took away from Wednesday’s meets for future reference.

“We’ve got the ability, we know what to do, we just got to do it,” he said. “Like I said, they weren’t scared at all… They went out there and they actually wrestled tough and fought hard. Now, we were out-skilled, and I told them, ‘You cannot get upset by that.’”

They will just keep trying to improve match-by-match, move-by-move.

King’s Fork (1-8) takes to the road on Friday to face Northampton High School in the Fred Diem Invitational.

Following are the results from Wednesday’s meets:

Indian River 69, King’s Fork 3

106 – KF forfeit; 113 – Olsen (IR) pin Hall (KF) 1:27; 120 – KF forfeit; 126 – Lacey (IR) pin King (KF) 1:05; 132 – Belger (IR) dec. B. Wall (KF) 6-5; 138 – Riley (IR) pin Ortiz (KF) 1:08; 145 – KF forfeit; 152 – Evans (IR) pin Parsons (KF) 3:15; 160 – Hommell (KF) dec. Chalk (IR) 6-4; 170 – KF forfeit; 182 – No match; 195 – KF forfeit; 220 – Spruill (IR) pin Larry (KF) 3:00; 285 – KF forfeit.

Grassfield 69, King’s Fork 3

106 – KF forfeit; 113 – Johnson (G) pin Hall (KF) 1:35; 120 – KF forfeit; 126 – Copeland (G) pin King (KF) 1:04; 132 – Driscoll (G) pin B. Wall (KF) 1:35; 138 – Huggins (G) dec. Ortiz (KF) 13-11; 145 – KF forfeit; 152 – Misuna (G) pin Parsons (KF) 2:10; 160 – Hommell (KF) dec. Van Derostyne (G) 8-1; 170 – KF forfeit; 182 – KF forfeit; 195 – No match; 220 – Sutton (G) pin Larry (KF) 3:10; 285 – KF forfeit.

Great Bridge 81, King’s Fork 0

106 – KF forfeit; 113 – Pope (GB) tech. fall Hall (KF); 120 – KF forfeit; 126 – Basnight (GB) pin King (KF) 1:17; 132 – Merriam (GB) pin B. Wall (KF) 3:02; 138 – Tuckson (GB) pin Ortiz (KF) 1:32; 145 – KF forfeit; 152 – Springer (GB) tech. fall Parsons (KF); 160 – Monde (GB) tech. fall Hommell (KF); 170 – KF forfeit; 182 – KF forfeit; 195 – KF forfeit; 220 – Barrow (GB) pin Larry (KF) 1:50; 285 – KF forfeit.