LAURINBURG — The Knights of St. Andrews started seven freshmen wrestlers Wednesday night against Life University, and came away with the 25-15 victory.
The program improves to 1-1 on the season with the team win. Coach Joe Baranik said he was not sure what to expect with so many freshmen in the starting lineup, but that it went well.
“This was one of those matches that could have gone either way. It could have been better and it could have been worse,” Baranik said.
The Knights took the win mostly on matches decided by decision, meaning they did not feature a pin.
SAU jumped out to an early 12-point lead in the match due to forfeits in the first two bouts. Dillon Schouw cut the lead in half with a pin in the first contested fight, but the Knights were able to hold on and pull out the win. Schouw’s pin was the only one of the match.
Baranik said he was impressed with several of the new wrestlers, including 197-pound Carlos Martinez who dropped a hard-fought match with the fifth-ranked wrestler in the NAIA. Martinez was defeated by a 2-1 decision in the lowest-scoring match of the night.
Another wrestler who stood out was Cory Hubbard, a freshman from Virginia who wrestled at 174-pounds. He had the most lopsided result of the evening, winning by major decision over Cory Hamas 20-9. A major decision is a victory by more than seven points.
Other Knights who put up points by winning their matches were: Kody Getkin, who beat Rowdy Prior 7-4 by decision, Alex Knight, who beat Jeff Drever 11-8 and Denzel Vaughn, who won 11-4 over Jacob Dempsey in the final match.
“This team beat us last year, so I’m really proud of our guys to come out and win with seven freshmen,” Baranik said.
Life picked up two additional wins as well. Oliver Brukardt beat Jemson Villard 7-5 and Deandre Sims defeated Dejuante Pabellon 8-5.
The Knights will be back in action next Wednesday, Nov. 20 for another home match, this one against Anderson University. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the main gym.