By Carol McIntire
Carrollton improved to 5-1 in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference wrestling standings with a 63-12 win over Canton South and set the stage for the battle for second place in the league Feb. 15 at Minerva.
The Warriors and Lions both sport 4-1 league records. The lone loss for both teams came at the hands of the Louisville Leopards, who won the league title for the first time since 1997. The Warriors won the title the last three years.
Against Canton South on senior night, the Warriors picked up 42 points on forfeits en route to the victory.
Carrollton sophomore Jayden Zbuca (106 lbs.) built a 7-0 lead before he pinned Emmett Hole with 34 seconds left in the second period to start the night off on a winning note. Freshman Brandon Brown (113) fell behind early to Hunter Miller before getting a reversal to start the third period and two back points. He went on to post a 5-3 decision.
Sophomore Nathan Blake (126) picked up a takedown at the final buzzer and posted a 5-2 decision over Kevin Guling before Senior Tanner Newbold pinned Anzonie Nicholes 1:17 into the first period.
The next Warrior to wrestle was senior Noah Carrothers (182), who jumped out in front of Dalzon Frey 7-3 after two periods and added two escape points in the final period for a 9-5 decision.
The Wildcats got their only points of the night at 195 when Jaxon Frey pinned Chase Baxter in 57 seconds and Deontae Williams pinned Noah Rutledge with 10 seconds left in the second period.
Robbie Hoopes (120), Brayden Carter (132), Ben Pasiuk (145), Justin Shaw (152), Brandon Daniels (160), Jaret Lane (170) and Tavis Rutledge (Hwt) all won by forfeit.
Eight seniors were honored during festivities prior to the match, including two who are the third generation of their family to wrestle for Carrollton Schools.
“We, as coaches, are very proud of these young men for their hard work and dedication to our program,” said Coach Ken Pasiuk. “We are confident they will be successful in life with what wrestling has instilled in them. They are all going to be missed.”
He said the seniors have been part of some remarkable seasons, including three time NBC champs, three time sectional champs, Division II State Duals final four, three time top 10 in the individual state and Division I State Dual regional runners up.
Noah Rutledge and Tanner Newbold were honored, along with their fathers, Leonard Rutledge and Brian Newbold, and grandfathers Phillip Rutledge and Tom Newbold, as the third generation of their families to wrestle for Carrollton.
“This is just a neat thing,” said Pasiuk. “We have such great fans in our community and the people we have coaching and working with our boys are truly great people to help build tough young men. A lot of these fans and coaches wrestled for Carrollton when they were younger. Their dedication to our program is a blessing. We look forward to the future generation working with our program and boys.”