MARCELINE ∞ After missing two chances to make program history at home last week, Chillicothe High School's 2012-13 wrestling Hornets instead achieved it on the road last night, extending the program's coincidental history of its greatest successes in seasons which end in a year that ends in '3.'
Facing smaller schools Centralia and host Marceline in its final dual matches of the season, Chillicothe had its way with both, defeating Centralia's Panthers 65-15 and the host Tigers
55-19 for the Hornets' 16th and 17th dual victories of the season.
That broke a tie this year's team had been in with the 1982-83 and 2002-03 CHS squads and last year's group for most team wins in a season – albeit under significantly-different scheduling parameters from the squads 30 and 10 years ago.
Whereas Doug Long's '82-'83 squad achieved its 15 wins in only 16 matches and Dave Kinen's 2002-03 group had gone 15-3-1, last year's had needed 27 tries and a season-ending 5-matches win streak to reach 15. With last night's pair of triumphs, the new record-holder for wins finished 17-10.
The grappling Hornets now turn full attention to preparing their best man in each weight class for the end-of-season individuals competition.
That 2-stage competition will begin with the Class 2 District 4 tournament at Excelsior Springs Feb. 8-9.
Last night's action at Marceline saw Chillicothe roll over the two Class 1 schools, both of which have some good wrestling histories.
Rookie head coach Drew Passley's Hornets trailed only once, and that was because they did not have anyone to fill the 113-pounds weight class which, by random selection, ended up being the first weight to be contested in the match against Centralia.
The 6-0 deficit was quickly eradicated when Centralia had no 120-pounder to go against Hornets standout Kyler Sewell, squaring the score at 6-6.
Once the actual action began, Chillicothe immediately took charge.
At 126, recently-crowned Midland Empire Conference champion Thaddeus Rinehart finished his bout in the first period, winning by fall at 1:50.
Fellow MEC champ Aaron Baker, the outstanding CHS ninth grader, couldn't pin his opponent at 132, but didn't have to wrestle quite all six minutes either. A. Baker shut out his opponent 15-0 to win by technical fall with nine seconds left.
After Centralia gained a "tech fall" of its own, another CHS frosh, Cuba Wagner Chapman became the only Hornet to have a full-length bout against Centralia, fending off several pin attempts to lose only by major decision, 12-4.
That kept the Hornets in front by two points and from there it was all Hornets.
Lane Gaunt followed with a 27-second win by fall in the 152-pounds class. After a Centralia forfeit at 160, 3-straight first-period pins by Hornets – Elliott Keller at 170 (28 seconds), Hunter Burton at 182 (49 seconds), and Brent Schade at 195 (1:21) – wrapped up the contested action. Centralia was open again at 220, 285, and 106 pounds.
Page 2 of 2 - Against Marceline, Sewell again had no foe at 120, giving CHS an immediate
6-0 lead. Rinehart then won in the first period again (1:43) before Baker lost an 8-6 decision.
Matt Shaffer (138) got the Hornets back on track with a 5-2 win and Chapman gained a split on the night, too, earning a major decision, 12-4.
After another MHS forfeit and a Tigers major-decision win, junior first-year-wrestler Keller won in the first period again, needing 44 seconds this time.
Marceline was open at the next three weights before Hornets heavyweight Chance Holcer produced a pin win one second before the opening period ended.
With Chillicothe empty at 113, that made the 106-pound division the last actual bout of the night. In it, Marceline prevailed by a second-period fall.
Keller and Rinehart were the only Hornets to wrestle and win twice each.