E.A. Sports Today

Bearcats claw back

Team meeting in the middle of the day puts Weaver back on track for a fifth-place finish in Battlefield Duals

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE – The day wasn’t going well. The Weaver wrestling team was 1-2 and in need of motivation. Bearcats coach Andy Fulmer and his assistants were more than happy to provide it.

They called a team meeting and laid the cards on the table. The Bearcats responded with what Fulmer called “probably our two best duals of the day” to finish fifth in the Battlefield Duals on New Year’s Eve.

The Bearcats went 3-2 on the day, which started pulling out of the parking lot at 4 a.m. They beat J.O. Johnson (42-39), then lost to St. Clair County (42-36) and Northwest Whitfield (44-33) to prompt what Fulmer called “a nice little team chat” directed largely toward the middle of their lineup. When they returned to the mat, they beat Benjamin Russell (41-31) and host Huntsville (39-38).

“It started off rough, but ended up being a pretty good day as far as finishing pretty strong,” Fulmer said. “We were frustrated as coaches because we knew we were a lot better than what we wrestled. We’re young at spots and inexperience, but at some point you’ve got to grow up.

“We challenged them, saying it’s time for you to man up and start carrying your load. (The heavier weights) can’t win every match, they’re human, so at some point you’ve got to start pulling your part of the rope.

“It sparked a little intensity and enthusiasm and after that it seemed they fought harder when they were in bad positions and cheering each other on … It wasn’t like that earlier in the day.”

Frist-year wrestler Brannon Bellar lost both of his matches at 154 post-meeting, but by going the full six minutes against Benjamin Russell set the tone for the fight Fulmer expected of his wrestlers. Tyler Johnson, wrestling for the first time at 170 after competing at heavier weights earlier this season, split his two matches; he scored a pin against Huntsville.

The strength of the Bearcats’ lineup is the heavier weights and they didn’t disappoint. Chase Rodgers (197) went 5-0 with a forfeit, Collin Allison (184) and Matt Elston (222) both went 4-1 and heavyweight Caleb Allison went 2-0 with a pair of pins. Nick Souder went 5-0 with two pins at 115.

Battlefield Duals

Team Results: 1. Trion (Ga,), 2. Gilmer County (Ga.), 3. Northwest Whitfield (Ga.), 4. Scottsboro, 5. Weaver, 6. Huntsville, 7. Benjamin Russell, 7. St. Clair County.

1st Place Match: Trion defeated Gilmer County 48-33.
3rd Place Match: Northwest Whitfield defeated Scottsboro 40-39.
5th Place Match: Weaver defeated Huntsville 39-38.
7th Place Match: Benjamin Russell vs. St. Clair County.

Weaver Results
Defeated J.O. Johnson, 42-39
Lost to St. Clair County, 42-36
Lost to NW Whitfield, 44-33
Defeated Benjamin Russell, 41-31
Defeated Huntsville, 39-38

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