The only thing Northwest wrestler Dederic Brown needed to do in his 126-pound match on Thursday night against Bishop Carroll’s Bryant Suellentrop was avoid getting pinned.
If Brown got pinned, Carroll would tie the dual with Northwest, but under any other circumstance, Northwest would win the dual outright.
Brown lost the match 7-1, giving Northwest a 30-27 win over Carroll.
“What was going through my head was just a three-peat of being City League champs,” Brown said. “My team had my back, my team was getting loud for me, so they pushed me through. I owe it all to my team.”
The dual started with th 132-pound class and Northwest won the first three matches, and seven of the first nine matches.
Injuries and sickness forced five Bishop Carroll wrestlers to wrestle up one weight class. The Golden Eagles won two of the five matches, while giving up two pins and one major decision.
Momentum shifted in Carroll’s favor in the heavyweight match. Zach Jenkins — typically a 220 wrestler — faced a 3-1 deficit to Northwest’s Kenny McCoy with time running out in the third period. Jenkins tied the match with a reversal, and got a quick takedown in overtime to win the match 5-3.
“ ‘I have to do this for my team,’ ” Jenkins said, “ ‘I have to step up for them. It can be hard, but I have to do it. Everyone is stepping up for our team, wrestling up weights, I can do my part,’ that’s what I was thinking the entire time, I can’t let them down.”
After Jenkins cut Northwest’s lead to 30-9, Bishop Carroll’s lower weights pulled the Golden Eagles closer. Luke Linnebur won a close 9-5 match over Northwest’s Eric Russell at 106 to give Carroll a chance to tie the dual if each of the final three matches ended in a pin.
“We had to coach those last couple of matches different. We didn’t coach to win the match, we coached not to get pinned,” Northwest coach Eric Prichard said.
As unlikely as it seemed, Carroll’s wrestlers earned pins in the next two matches, leading up to Suellentrop and Brown’s final match. Suellentrop dominated most of the match, but couldn’t turn Brown to his back.
“This is what we tell the kids, ‘In a tournament, it’s about you. In a dual, it’s about the team.’ So, (Brown) had to put the team in front, and that’s what he did,” Prichard said. “I aged about 10 years in that one.”
The win over Carroll marks Northwest’s third consecutive season taking the dual, and with that, the Grizzlies hope to eventually take the league title for the third consecutive year.