By JAMES EIK
After a bright start, Cheney’s Wednesday, Dec. 19 wrestling match against Colville took a turn for the worst.
Cheney began strong, winning with three straight pins. Cameron Schlotter (195 pounds) pinned Colville’s Brock Vanquekelbert in 1:39, followed by Zach Corean (220) pinning Keegan Somers in 3:34 and Noah Ziemann (285) pinning Jedidiah Keating in 1:31.
“We started off pretty well,” head coach Wade Schlotter said. “Then it kind of fell apart for us.”
After those first three Cheney pins, Colville staged a massive comeback, pinning the next 11 players, and causing several headaches along the way. Two forfeits were included in Colville’s win, which Cheney lost 66-18.
“We pinned the first three kids, they pinned the next 11 kids,” Schlotter said. “That’s probably the thing I was most disappointed about.”
The mood after the match, Schlotter said, was anything but joyous, recognizing the rough match.
“I think they were frustrated. We were all kind of frustrated,” he said.
Wednesday marked the first dual match Cheney has seen since their time in Aberdeen last month.
“It’s hard to wrestle duals when we give up so many pins,” Schlotter said.
While league dual matches have started, it’s still pretty early in the wrestling season. Schlotter said although the match against Colville was a rough one, a highlight of the season was seeing Zieman come back into competition.
Earning a pin was just icing on the cake.
“A really nice surprise was Noah Zieman at heavyweight,” he said. “He’d been hurt and had a back injury, so it was really nice to have him back. He came back and wrestled as well as we’ve seen him.”
The winter break for Cheney School District marks a period of rest for the team. Eli Mason and Michael Ferguson are both recovering from concussions. Mason suffered his at the Tri-State Tournament earlier this month. Sam Pegg is working on a shoulder injury, but could see a return to competing soon.
“He’s starting to practice again,” Schlotter said.
Schlotter said having some time off will help to mend those wounds and get the team back up to full strength.
“We’ll have a lot of those kids coming back after the new year,” he said.
Cheney will send a select few varsity members to Freeman High school next Dec. 28 and 29, resuming regular play after.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.