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Westminster wrestler Nate Seibel talks about the Owls' win over South Carroll.

When South Carroll wrestling coach Bryan Hamper stepped aside in the offseason, some Cavalier supporters wondered if the program that has won the past four Class 2A-1A state championships would show signs of decline.

The early season results are showing the Cavaliers have a lot of work to do.

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Westminster defeated host South Carroll, 39-30, Wednesday night. It marked the Owls first win over the Cavaliers in three years and dropped South Carroll’s dual-meet record to 1-3.

Westminster coach Mike Flemming was brimming with pride after the match.

“For us, it’s just a huge win,” he said. “It’s about getting over this hump with South Carroll having this dominance. South Carroll has really, really strong wrestlers. Some of the top kids in state.”

Westminster junior Nate Seibel helped seal the win when he pinned Richard Summerlin in 4:36 at 195 pounds.

That gave the Owls a 36-27 lead with two bouts to go.

“For Nate to get that pin, it’s a big deal,” Flemming said. “Hopefully, he can build on that going into our tournament.”

Seibel’s pin might have been unexpected. He entered the match with a 1-9 record.

“It was just amazingly satisfying to come away with the pin,” Seibel said. “It meant a lot not just for myself, but for the team.”

After Seibel’s pin, South Carroll senior Brandon Brister (220) topped Jack Conrad, 18-17, and the Owls’ Chris Hauffmann (285) edged Patrick Quinn, 4-3, to finish the match.

The match got off to a good note for Westminster. Ben Carlow was the benefactor of a forfeit at 106, but South Carroll recorded pins in three of the next four matches.

Cavaliers’ freshman Trent Brauer (113) raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first period before decking Tyler Beaver in 48 seconds.

Two bouts later, state runner-up Dakota Bowers (126) needed only 33 seconds to pin Kyle Rizzo and Travis Crawford (132) followed by taking down Nick Wingo in 46 seconds.

When Cam Werner (138) technical-falled Nathan Hohman, 18-1, the Cavaliers boosted their lead to 23-12.

After Westminster’s Chase Buckwalter (145) scored a 13-9 decision over South Carroll junior Randall White, the Owls’ Brad Walsh (152) beat Tyler Harbison, 5-4, in the most anticipated match of the night.

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Walsh won a takedown in the final period right before the buzzer sounded.

“Brad lost to him in the county final last year,” Flemming said. “So it was a fifth place state finisher (Walsh) versus a state runner-up.

Westminster regained the lead when Parker Streib (160) got a forfeit that gave the visitors a 24-23 edge. South Carroll’s Steven Dahl (170) dominated Marley Warfield, 14-6, to make it 27-24.

The Cavaliers hoped that was the start of a strong finish, but Westminster won three of the final four bouts to prevail, including getting pins from Hunter Myers (182) and Seibel.

“It’s December,” South Carroll coach Matt Thomas said. “We will check at the end of the year for who places what. Things could be a different story in March.”

106 Ben Carlow w by forfeit

113 Trent Brauer (SC) pin Tyler Beaver 0:48

120 Kyle Ensor (W) pin Jacob Rippeon 3:46

126 Dakota Bowers (SC) pin Kyle Rizzo pin 3:17

132 Travis Crawford (SC) pin Nick Wingo 0:46

138 Cam Werner (SC) t-fall Nathan Hohman 18-1

145 Chase Buckwalter (W) dec. White 13-9

152 Brad Walsh (W) dec. Tyler Haribson 5-4

160 Parker Streib (W) w by forfeit

170 Steven Dahl (SC) m-dec. Marley Warfield 14-6

182 Hunter Myers (W) pin dec. Collin Rolfes 4:58

195 Nate Seibel (W) pin Richard Summerlin 4:36

220 Brandon Brister (SC) dec. Jack Conrad 18-17

285 Chris Hauffmann (W) dec Patrick Quinn :38

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