Wrestling coach says youthful Trojans are ‘closing in on victory one skirmish at a time’

FEDERALSBURG — The half a dozen first-year high school wrestlers on Kent County’s team made their varsity debut in a dual match Dec. 20 against Cambridge-South Dorchester.

KCHS was able to fill all but three weight classes in the 51-30 loss.

The participation of freshmen Rhy Ashley-Pinder (106), Landon Merritt (126), Cody Cummings (150), Aidan Butler (165) and Avon Hubbard (285) and sophomore Nate Daly (120) “gave us a sporting chance,” coach Chris Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise.

He added, “We are hoping they can see their importance to the team.”

The Trojans won by forfeit at 157 and 165 pounds.

Scottie Ford (138), Brady Sutton (144) and Liam Gallo (175) won by fall. Ford’s and Sutton’s pins came barely one minute into their respective bouts, while Gallo stuck his opponent just ahead of the horn ending the second period.

As a coaching strategy, Yiannakis said he tried to use his two injured veterans to the Trojans’ advantage, but only caught one forfeit (to Ethan Clark at 157) and had to give up one.

“Our JV guys got a taste of Varsity life in this match as we filled out 11 weight classes,” Yiannakis wrote on the Kent County Wrestling Facebook page. “We are hoping tonight ignites that fire inside that only a wrestler has. That no quit work harder attitude,” he added.

Boasting a full roster with many experienced wrestlers, host Colonel Richardson won the second match of the double-dual handily, 66-18.

Of the five contested bouts, Kent won three — Ford, who remains unbeaten, Sutton and Gallo by fall.

Kent lost two bouts by pin, and forfeited the nine remaining bouts.

Yiannakis posted on Facebook: “As the smoke dies down from this engagement, the sting of loss is softening and we can see clearer that we are closing in on victory one skirmish at a time. Tonight we fielded 3/4 of a squad with 2 injured. We all made it out with more knowledge to grow on.”

The Trojans (0-4) are idle this week, and then travel to St. Michaels and Elkton before returning home Wednesday, Jan. 17.

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