Glenelg wrestling faced an early deficit, dropping the night’s opening four matches to Reservoir. The Gladiators needed a spark to get back into the dual. Seniors Taegon and Jaegon Hibbitts provided it.
The duo earned consecutive pins and Glenelg was off and running. All together the Gladiators won nine of the final 10 bouts in a 51-30 win over Reservoir.
“I wanted to work on what I had worked on, I kind of wanted to pick up the pace and really set the tone early in the match,” Taegon Hibbitts said of his victory at 132 pounds. “I really tried to be more aggressive. Normally I’m not the guy to pin somebody, but that’s what I felt needed to be done.”
Taegon’s brother Jaegon followed with a pin jumpstarting Glenelg’s momentum. The Gladiators continued to find success with a forfeit victory at 145 and a pin by junior Ethan Sotka at 152, tying the match at 24 after eight bouts.
“We’re very strong from the midweights up to the heavyweights. I knew if we got there that we were good,” Glenelg coach Matthew Bichner said. “I think after our 138-pounder pinned, once he was able to go out there and get it done. The forfeit at 145 pounds was big for us, I thought we were definitely going to be in the match with who we had coming up.”
Junior Leo Conti and senior Daniel Vaysman secured back-to-back pins giving Glenelg a 36-24 lead and six consecutive bout victories. Reservoir’s Daniel Wiegert briefly quelled Glenelg’s momentum, delivering a pin for the Gators at 182 pounds, trimming the deficit to 36-30 with three matches remaining.
Glenelg responded, its ability to create quick pins on full display. Senior Kian Payne (195) and junior Max Dail (220) secured pins within the first 40 seconds of their bouts. Those back-to-back wins ballooned the Gladiators lead to 48-30 with only one match remaining.
The 285-pound match between Glenelg senior Dominic Magnolia and Reservoir’s Runor Agarin was the only bout not decided by pinfall or forfeit. The two heavyweights battled back-and-forth in a low-scoring affair as Magnolia won a 6-4 decision, putting the finishing touches on the victory.
Early in the night, Andrew Dolezel (113), Sam Vissers (120) and Sebastian Meza (126) got the Gators off to their strong start with three consecutive pins. Meza’s victory energized the home crowd as he trailed by double-digits before rallying.
“I was proud of the way my guys wrestled,” Reservoir coach Andrew McIntyre said. “I think Glenelg is definitely the class of the county. I think they’re one of the better teams in the state, but we hung with them pretty well. I think we surprised them a little coming out as hot as we did. The center of their lineup they have a lot of good kids.”