CUMBERLAND – The first match at Fluvanna earlier this month was kind of like a shock to Goochland’s coaches. It didn’t really hit head coach Jeremy Wampler until the following morning that that season-opening match had indeed just happened.
But after that, “now you knew how things were going to go,” Wampler noted, and while Monday night’s tri meet featuring Amelia and host school Cumberland was different, he said it felt normal again.
It was a also a big night in the scorebook for the Bulldogs, as they swept the tri meet 62-12 over Amelia and 58-6 over Cumberland for their first team wins of the season.
“It’s interesting seeing when we first started working with them about the attitude we want them to embrace in the practice room, and then...seeing that come to be during an actual match,” Wampler said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth and I’m very happy with how things went tonight...absolutely the right attitude I’m looking for.”
Heavyweight Ayden Doczi, Max Moreno and 132-pound wrestler John Summitt all went 2-0 in their contested matchups. Doczi, a senior, totaled less than 40 seconds on the mat in his first contested matches of the season as he pinned both his Amelia opponent in 24.7 seconds and Cumberland’s Logan Bryant in 15.2.
“For him, it’s all about now taking what he knows in the practice room and actually doing it in a real match,” Wampler said. “Tonight he practiced a couple things – they were quicker matches, but he did pull the trigger on a couple things we wanted him to work on.”
Moreno, also a senior, opened his night strong by pinning his Amelia opponent in 46 seconds while wrestling in the 152-pound class. He also closed it with a bang, bumping up to 160 to pin Cumberland’s Cole Dalton in the second period. Wampler said they decided that they wanted to get him a second match, and they had a feeling that his opponent at 160 was a good matchup for him, “and a decent test, too.”
“Max really rose to the occasion.”
From Moreno, Wampler earlier said he needed to see consistency and positioning.
“I need to see him set up his offense with what we want him to do,” Wampler said. “If he can keep doing what he did tonight – that was the first time I’ve seen Max Moreno wrestle at a level that I actually think he might make a lot of noise later on this year.”
Summitt racked up three near-falls in a 17-4 major-decision win over Caleb O’Brien, then piled on three near-falls and four takedowns to defeat Cumberland freshman Madison Dayton by tech fall.
“I saw a huge change in him from just the first to the second match; his hip position was much better while riding,” Wampler said. “Very happy with the changes I saw.”
Against Amelia, Reese Vincent (138 pounds) pinned Dominic Hardison in under 25 seconds, and Grant Heidel (145) fended off Aden Terrel in an 8-5 decision.
Against Cumberland, Jordan Duke (113) piled on four near-falls in a win by tech fall over Celeste Mitchell, Alex Rosenbaum (220) pinned Antoine Johnson in less than 30 seconds and Riley Hite, wrestling up at 170 pounds, parlayed two near-falls into a second-period pin of Jake Price.
After all of the uncertainty that’s been brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Goochland was able to complete its first three meets within six days. The Bulldogs opened the season at Fluvanna, with Summitt pinning Emma Dillon and Vincent pinning Sam Stultz. In the team results, Fluvanna edged out Goochland 27-24.
Summitt continued his strong start on Saturday in Louisa, defeating Gavin Greslick in a 12-8 decision. Moreno at 145 pinned Nick Torbush, and Hite at 160 routed Lawton Rowan in a 9-0 major decision. Louisa fended off the Bulldogs for the 33-25 team victory with two wins by forfeit, three pins and a 9-3 win by decision.
This team, Wampler said, is embracing what they’re wanting.
“This is the attitude that we want: we want that hard-nosed grinding attitude, and that’s where the fun’s going to come,” Wampler said. “Very happy with how things are going right now – it’s going to take time, but we’re seeing the right steps, and it’s going to keep on slowly growing.”