LAURINBURG — There is a steep learning curve when it comes to wrestling, first-year head coach Thomas Havner and his young grapplers are slowly navigating that curve.
The Fighting Scots have two seniors taking the mat this season — Ben Tart and Ja’Quan Carr — the rest of the Scotland roster features underclassmen who have little to no wrestling experience.
With that in mind, the final outcomes of dual matches isn’t how Havner is measuring success, it’s the effort and improvement he sees from his wrestlers during their bouts. As each wrestler came off the mat Monday, Havner explained gave them a breakdown of the positives and negatives from their match and how they could improve for next time.
Pinecrest, on its senior night, pulled off a 72-12 win over the Fighting Scots.
The Scots two victories came in the upper weight classes as junior Charles Wall, 170 and senior Carr, 182, both picked up pinfall victories over their Patriots opponent. Wall went toe to toe with Pinecrest’s Montell Martin and pinned the Patriot’s senior 22 seconds into their match. Wall’s pin gave the Scots their first points, and his win spurred teammate Ja’Quan Carr to a victory in his 182-pound bout.
Carr took on Pincrest’s Joshua Littles and earned six points for the Scots will a pinfall victory with 51.9 seconds remaining in the first period.
The other close match for the Scots was Devaun Hailey at 220 as he battled for two periods against Pinecrest’s Aidan Alston. Hailey was keeping pace with Alston, earning points where he could, before Alston managed to flip Hailey on his back to pick up the pin with 1:06 left in the final period.
Ian Smith, 195, and Knowledge Patterson, 285, both advanced to the second period of their matches before they were pinned by their respective Pinecrest opponents.
The Scots other six wrestlers were pinned in the first period of their matches, as the Patriots picked up the 72-12 victory.
The Fighting Scots are back on the mats this weekend as they travel to St. Pauls for the Bulldog Brawl. Scotland will be one of 17 teams competed, they will be joined by Sandhills Athletic Conference members Seventy-First, Hoke and Lumberton. Area schools competing include Panther Creek, Westover and South Johnston. Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Scotland will return to dual meet action on Jan. 24 in Hope Mills to take on Seventy-First and Jack Britt. Matches begin at 6 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.