Bishop Carroll’s 33-29 wrestling victory over Kapaun Mount Carmel was decided in the first match of the dual, or one of the first, depending on which colors were being worn.
Carroll coach Mark Stovall was happy to accept an upset win over the No. 3-ranked Crusaders. Stovall manipulated the lineup late so Nick Nolting, one of Carroll’s best wrestlers, competed in the decisive match. Nolting pinned CJ Pore in 31 seconds in a heavyweight match to give the Golden Eagles the victory.
Kapaun coach Tim Dryden, however, essentially claimed victory for the Crusaders. In the 120-pound match, top-ranked Parker Howell was leading 12-1 when he executed an illegal move. Howell’s throw caused Konnor Dugan to land on his neck and Dugan couldn’t continue, giving him the win by injury default.
“We beat them,” Dryden said. “We beat them eight matches to six, and they took an injury default in a match – that’s an 11-point swing. Otherwise, we beat them. That’s it, plain and simple. They won some key matches, we won some key matches. We just had one kid that probably wasn’t that smart, but … that’s just the way it is.
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“I would never do that. I would never win a match like that. And I’m not saying the kid wasn’t injured, I don’t know if he was or not. But if I was down 12- or 14-1, I wouldn’t win like that. But that’s just me, that’s kind of how I am.”
Dryden said Dugan should have said he could continue the match, then bowed out to allow Howell the win. Stovall saw no controversy, pointing out that other matches also had unpredictable outcomes.
“I’m glad it wasn’t his neck,” Stovall said. “It was the back, ribs area. I’ll take that over a neck injury, because he landed right on top of his neck.…
“(The dual turned on) that one and the Chris Dugan one at 182. I wasn’t expecting for us to give up a fall there, so each side kind of had a ‘No, no.’ But our guys pulled through.”
However it happened, Kapaun entered the heavyweight match with a 29-27 lead but not much comfort. A close contest allowed the Eagles to hold out Nolting, who is ranked at 182 pounds but wrestles at 220, while Kapaun moved Pore up from junior varsity.
The bout was every bit the mismatch it appeared to be on paper. Nolting dominated the opening moments before scoring a fall that clinched the dual for the unranked Eagles.
“I was trying to stay calm,” Nolting said. “You don’t want to get too excited and do something dumb. Just stay calm and do what I do.… It didn’t really matter who I was going to go against, I was just going to go out there and I was going to wrestle.”
Kapaun led 17-12 after Luke Wilson defeated John Paul Sponsel at 145 pounds, but the Eagles emerged from that match with momentum. Several near pinfalls and quick reversals livened up Carroll’s wrestlers as they cheered on Sponsel, and even though he lost, the Eagles built upon that energy.
Carroll won three of the next four matches and the teams traded the lead until the final match.
“When the intensity gets up, everybody gets excited and ready to go,” Nolting said. “It kind of gets your adrenaline going. Everyone is ready to go and make points for the team.”
Dryden believed Kapaun should have had a few extra.
“That’s on them,” Dryden said. “If the kid was legitimately hurt and couldn’t go on, they have every right to (accept the win). I’m just saying I wouldn’t do that. In 16 years of coaching, I’ve never won a match like that and I still won’t.
“… Our kid’s got to be smarter than that, and that’s on him.”
106—Egan, K, pinned Linnebur 0:22; 113—Murphy, BC, def. O’Donnell 10-4; 120—K. Dugan, BC, def. Howell by injury default; 126—Roy, BC, def. J. Le 10-3; 132—Burrus, K, def. Suellentrop 15-7; 138—Mills, K, def. Gottschalk 8-0; 145—Wilson, K, def. J.P. Sponsel 17-12; 152—J. Sponsel, BC, pinned B. Le 3:36; 160—L. Sponsel, BC, pinned Williams; 170—Nece, K, def. Moore 3-1 (OT); 182—Marquez, BC, def. Harp 12-5; 220—LaFleur, K, def. Jenkins 9-8; 285—Nolting, BC, pinned Pore 0:31.