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ADM wrestling returns to the mats, splits triangular on senior night

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News

In any given wrestling season there are obstacles to hurdle. For ADM wrestling in 2020, there was yet another hurdle thrown in as COVID-19 shut down the Tiger grapplers for roughly two weeks. 

On Thursday, Jan. 7, they came back to the competitive mats as they hosted a triangular against conference foe Carlisle and non-conference rival DCG. The Tigers put up a very strong showing in their long-awaited return, splitting the night with a 44-32 win over the Wildcats while falling to DCG 49-15. 

"These guys were so ready to get back on the mats tonight, it was amazing to be back at it again," said ADM head coach Christopher Hatchitt. "These guys went right to work as soon as we were cleared to practice and tonight they wrestled really well."

Across the 1-1 split the Tiger grapplers posted 12 individual victories, four of which came from the three seniors who were in action.

ADM's Chris Simmons attempting to pin his opponent on Thursday, Jan. 7 on senior night.

"These three seniors have been amazing and they are true leaders," began Hatchitt. "With Simmons, I really wish I had him since he was a freshman. He's a little quirky and he always has a smile and is ready to work. For Trigg, we didn't even know if he'd wrestle this season but he put in the work, it's amazing for him to come back from that type of an injury and wrestle again. A true testimate to his dedication. And then for Royer, he's always a happy guy and is always learning and growing from each match."

In their victory over the Wildcats, the Tigers posted eight victories,  including five wins by pinfall, one tech-fall victory and one win by forfeit. Two of those victories started off what would be unblemished nights for Jake Alexander at 106-pounds and Nathan Royer (160). Their respective victories over Carlisle came as two of the three quickest victories on the night for ADM.

Alexander earned the quickest win as his pinfall victory came in just 45 seconds for his first victory of the season. Royer picked up his sixth win of the year in a 52-second pinfall. 

"Royer is such a smart individual and if you noticed tonight, he was never gassed," Hatchitt said. "He just kept pushing and pushing and gave 100 percent."

ADM coaches and fellow wrestlers cheer on their teammates on Thursday, Jan. 7 in the senior night triangular against Carlisle and DCG.

The rest of the pinfall victories against Carlisle came from Cooper Greenslade (113),  Kadin O'Connor (145)  and senior Chris Simmons who tacked on another win in 1:44. The lone tech-fall victory on the night for the Tigers came from Ben Smith (132) with his lone victory for the contest. 

"Carlisle is a well-coached team so to pull out a win against a tough conference opponent like that is great," Hatchitt said. "Against a team like Carlisle, they've got some quality kids so I knew we had to have more falls and we did. Goes to show our conditioning as our kids were battling hard through the third period."

Even though their battle against 3A opponent and long-time rival DCG didn't end up in their favor,  four Tigers captured victory in the final match of the night. Perhaps one of the most exciting from senior Dallas Trigg (182). Senior night marked the first time Trigg had hit the competitive mats this season following a two broken bone injury sustained during the football season. It was a match that went all three periods and came down to the wire, in fact, was all tied up at 3-3 late in the match. Just enough of a late push propelled Trigg to a 5-3 decision and his first victory of the 2020-21 campaign. 

"It felt really good just to get back with the team and wrestling, you can condition yourself all you want but it's not a lot of wrestling," said Trigg. "It was a long recovery and it was just about getting my confidence back. That first match didn't go my way and I was bummed about it. I felt down early but once I saw that I won, the feeling of all the hard work rushed in." 

Trigg's victory during the battle with DCG marked one of three wins by decision for ADM in the match. The other two came from Royer with his first decision win of the year (10-6) and Gabe Heitz (195), who pulled off quite the last-second heroics himself with an 8-7 decision. Alexander rounded out the victories with his second victory on the night, picking up the win in 1:09. 

"It was a little challenging because the first two weeks of the season we were wrestling hard and kids were filling into their weight classes," Hatchitt said of the team coming back from a two-week break.

 "Some kids had to heal from being sick when we were able to get back to practice. Coming back was an eye-opener and we made conditioning an extra focus and the guys really got after it. Tonight these guys were at the level if not beyond where they left off before the pause," Hatchitt added.

With the split outcome on the night, the Tigers keep their record even, now at 5-5 in dual meets this season.  The Tigers have just one day of rest before they hit the competitive mats once more on Saturday, Jan. 9. They will travel to Winterset to take on the 15-team Gary Christensen Duals beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

Nathan Tapken with a takedown on Thursday, Jan. 7 in their home triangular against Carlisle and DCG.