Hubbard, Trojans pin down victory at St. Michaels

ST. MICHAELS — Avon Hubbard is the “big man” on Kent County High School’s wrestling team.

He’s only a freshman and at 5 feet, 7 inches, he’s not the tallest guy on the team, but he’s the Trojans’ heavyweight — though he’s about 20 pounds under the 285-pound limit.

On Tuesday night at St. Michaels, the definition of “big man” took on another meaning for Hubbard and his teammates.

With the outcome of the match hinging on the final bout, Hubbard, whose win-loss record is on the minus side of .500, needed to avoid a loss by pin in order for the Trojans to wrap up their third victory of the season.

Hubbard left nothing to chance, sticking his opponent in the second period for the 47-36 final.

This also was a milestone for Chris Yiannakis, whose first win seven years ago as head coach at alma mater KCHS came against St. Michaels.

“Still going thanks to heavyweight Avon Hubbard,” Yiannakis posted on Facebook after the Jan. 30 match.

In addition to Hubbard’s victory-clinching pin, other highlights included first-year varsity wrestler Aidan Butler (165 pounds) scoring his first takedown and working breakdowns and pin combinations and freshman Rhi Ashley-Pinder (106) putting up a fight and making her opponent work hard for his win.

The match started at 106, and the Trojans fell behind, 18-0, after three bouts.

Sophomore Noah Iacona broke through for KCHS with a technical fall (decision by 15 or more points) at 126.

After St. Michaels won by pin at 132 to stretch its lead to 24-5, Kent County won the next four bouts — Scottie Ford (138), Cody Cummings (144) and Ethan Clark (157) by forfeit and Brady Sutton with a pin in 53 seconds at 150 — to pull ahead, 29-24.

The Saints took back the lead, 30-29, after a pin at 165.

With four bouts to go, the match was up for grabs.

The lead flipped again after Liam Gallo and Anthony Wilson won by forfeit at 175 and 190, respectively, but St. Michaels closed to 41-36 with one bout remaining after picking up six team points with a forfeit at 215.

It all came down to the heavyweights.

“He (Hubbard) knew going into his match it was on him,” coach Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise.

A pin by the Saints would give them the match, 42-41. A tech fall would tie the team score at 41-all.

Basically all Hubbard had to do was stay off his back in order for the Trojans to drive home with the win.

He did better than that.

Hubbard scored the first takedown and rode hard on top. Choosing the top position to start the second period and, after a couple attempts at a turn, he rolled his opponent in a half nelson and pinned him.
The week before, Kent County split a double-dual match at Easton with a 47-30 victory against North Dorchester.

Freshman Landon Merritt won by tech fall in the third period. Hubbard won by forfeit. And half a dozen Trojans won by fall — Iacona, Ford, Sutton, Cummings, Clark and Wilson.

Ford had the quickest pin of the match, 38 seconds. Sutton (1:38) and Clark (55 seconds) also had first-period pins.

This was Cummings’ first varsity win.

Thursday (Feb. 1) was the last practice of the regular season for the Trojans, who close out their schedule tomorrow at Mardela for a double-dual with Snow Hill.

The Trojans (3-7) are coming off a 51-26 loss Wednesday night at Havre de Grace.

“Not a win but definitely a good match,” Yiannakis said in a Facebook post. “New guys hung in there and reached some milestones; a bunch of 2nd and 3rd periods were reached and points scored. Had questionable call on defensive pin and 1 or 2 guys got fatigued in the end.”

Looking ahead, the Trojans are prepping for the first round of regional duals (Feb. 6), Bayside Conference Championships (Feb. 17), Class 1A East Region Championships (Feb. 24) and the state championships (Feb. 29-March 2).


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