WINTERSVILLE - With young wrestling teams, Toronto head coach John Parker and Indian Creek boss Brandon Pendleton aren't always looking for huge strides.
"Our guys are young and are getting better, but we have a long way to go," said Pendleton. "Young guys are going to make mistakes. As long was we improve from those mistakes, we're happy.
"Sometimes we are looking for little things, little improvements. We're not necessarily looking to win the match, but we're looking to make an adjustment or an improvement on things we've been working on in practice.
WRAPPED UP — Toronto’s Drew Lowery is tangled up with Indian Creek’s Seth Williams during the third period of Wednesday’s dual meet in Wintersville. Lowery earned an 11-4 decision.
-- Mike Mathison
"Small steps, sometimes."
Indian Creek won six of the 11 matches wrestled, but the Red Knights came away with a 39-33 victory against the host Redskins Wednesday evening.
"It was a great match tonight with two young programs and young kids on both sides wrestling hard," said Toronto head coach John Parker. "We just happened to come out on top.
"We worked this week on being in better shape, but being more aggressive on the mat. That's a big thing with young kids. You have to be physical. You may not have all the knowledge yet or all the talent in the world, but you're in shape and you can come out and be physical. If you can wear the other team down, you can win matches.
"That's what we're trying to teach our kids.
"I think we are a blue collar-type of program. We don't have a lot of flash. We try to come out and win on conditioning and hard work.
"We try to teach good sportsmanship and we strive for that all the time. We try to teach them conditioning, good nutrition, good health, good hygiene, take care of your body, take care of yourself and the wrestling part will come.
A 12-12 match after five weight classes (it started at 120) turned into a 33-12 Toronto lead when Max Tice (152) won by forfeit, Charles Ross (160) won by fall, Drew Lowery (170) won by decision and Joven Householder (182) won by fall.
"Overall, Toronto has really improved," said Pendleton. "They've gotten a lot better over the past couple of years."
The Redskins came right back to make it 33-30 with victories by Sam Robinson (fall, 195), Billy Haislet (forfeit, 220) and Donnie Merritt (fall, 285).
"We bumped him (Merritt) up from 220 to heavy," said Pendleton. "He wrestled a hard four minutes and the last period he got in a position we want to be in - on top - and he was able to catch him the pin, which gave us a little momentum, a little spark, but it just wasn't enough in the end.
"We didn't wrestle our best. But, we didn't wrestle poorly. We look for not giving up bonus points, not getting pinned and try to catch those bonus points in close matches that you can win. Bonus points make all the difference. If you can stay off your back, you'll be OK."
Toronto put the match out of reach when Cole Harris (106) won by forfeit. Creek's Daniel Hague finished the match with a win by decision at 113.
The Redskins won three of the first five matches - Tyler Gaydosh (decision, 126), Miles Mazik (decision, 132) and Tyler McAfee (fall, 138). Toronto's wins were by Donnie Starkey (fall, 120) and Cody King (fall, 138).
"Cody King was petting IVs pumped into him 72 hours ago," said Parker. "That just shows the mental toughness he has and what we have as a young program. It was impressive for him to come out of the hospital and wrestle like that."
Toronto 39 Indian Creek 33
120- Donnie Starkey (T) pin Dustin McAfee 3:40
126- Tyler Gaydosh (IC) dec Brandon Mitchell 9-4
132- Miles Mazik (IC) dec Jerry Savage 7-0
138- Cody King (T) pin Nick Utt 3:56
145- Tyler McAfee (IC) pin Austin Barrett 4:27
152- Max Tice (T) winner by forfiet
160- Charles Ross (T) pin Nathan Thomas 2:57
170- Drew Lowery (T) dec. Seth Williams 11-4
182- Joven Householder (T) pin Jacob Wounaris 2:46
195- Sam Robinson (IC) pin Devon Losee 1:50
220- Billy Haislet (IC) winner by forfiet
285- Donnie Merritt (IC) pin Tim West 4:02
106- Cole Harris (T) winner by forfiet
113- Daniel Hague (IC) dec. Alex Anderson 4-1