Two matches in one night resulted in a split for Robinson High School's wrestling team Tuesday night (Nov. 27).
The Maroons played host to Marion and Effingham for a series of dual matches and came away with one win and one loss. Robinson beat Effingham 55-24, while losing to Marion 51-27.
"The two duals did not go like I expected at all, but I guess that is why you have to actually wrestle and not plan things out on paper," RHS head coach Joe Cunningham said. "I thought we might actually have had a better shot at beating Marion than catching Effingham, but things worked out just the opposite."
In their first match with Marion, Robinson had a strong start, with Nick Eby scoring a 5-2 win over Noah James at 170, while Fernando Zuniga and Grayson Wolf scored forfeit victories at 195 and 220, respectively and Roger Cornwell III pinned Remi Randolf at 285 to give the Maroons a 21-6 lead.
However, Robinson would not score again until the next to last match, while Marion won seven straight matches, including five via pin, to take a 45-21 lead. Jeff Hermann then pinned Marion's Drew Herrmann at 152 to make the score 45-27, but Marion won the last match via pin to finish off their victory.
"The lighter weights is where I thought the match would be won or lost and Marion had a pretty good bunch fo wrestlers from 106 to 145," Cunningham said. "Our kids wrestled hard, but the momentum went their way and we didn't pick up any wins in that stretch. This has been an interesting week as we struggled to put our line-up together and I had to put some kids in some tough spots to put a team together. I was proud of our effort as I am aware of some of the sacrifices our kids made this week to form our line-up. I think we could have matched up better with Marion in a couple of weeks when I can place kids in the proper weight classes, but I am proud of the effort."
Against Effingham, Robinson again jumped out to a big lead, as J.D. Caballero, Zuniga and Wolf all earned pinfall victories for an 18-0 advantage. After Effingham earned a pin, Robinson's Peyton Bugle won a 5-2 decision over Seth Jones, then Landon Shonk and Elliott Stifle picked up pins to extend the RHS lead to 33-6. Effingham then got a forfeit, while RHS followed with pinfall victories from Jordan Caballero (138), Josh Hatfield (145) and Eby (170), while Hermann won via major decision at 152 to complete the scoring and secure the match for the Maroons.
"I am more familiar with the Effingham team and I was worried that we didn't match up well with them at all," Cunningham said. "It is a good thing I didn't tell the kids because they went out and really turned it on. J.D. is wrestling up a weight class right now while we work toward certification dates and was giving up quite a bit of size. He works very hard in the weight room and conditions very hard and both of those things paid off for him tonight. Landon and Elliott should win a lot of matches this year and I hope will be the guys who will be very dependable for us all year. Their wins seemed to provide some inspiration in this match that carried over to their teammates. Jordan picked up probably the most pivotal victory of the evening with a pin over Effingham's Marschewski at 132. Marscheski is a tough wrestler and I kind of was giving Effingham the advantage in this match. So, when Jordan got the pin and we went up 39-12 that match secured the win for us."
There were also a handful of junior varsity matches between the teams, with Rusty Littlejohn, Alan Wiseman and Jaime Escobedo earning wins for RHS.
"Overall I was very pleased with the night," Cunningham said. "There were kids on our team who worked hard behind the scenes to make it possible for us to get a line-up together tonight and I am very proud of them. Now we are taking two teams to Lawrenceville Saturday and I hope to get as many kids on the mat as possible. Saturday should be fun."
Team scores - Marion 51, Robinson 27.
106 - Ethan Zakowski (R) pinned by Gage Kent (M).
113 - Landon Shonk (R) pinned by Lydell Hoskins (M).