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Wrestling Hornets’ sweep gives coach share of CHS record

Trio of victories leaves Smith tied with Long for career wins

As reported to C-T
  • With his team's three victories Thursday, Chillicothe head coach Chad Smith tied CHS' career record
  • Hornets sophomore middleweight Bryce Dominique won all three of his Thursday bouts by fall

ST. JOSEPH — With three dual matches (rather than the two shown on their schedule) to wrestle Thursday night, the Chillicothe High School Hornets had a chance to allow their head coach to make history.

They didn’t waste it.

A trio of triumphs – 60-18 over host St. Joseph: Lafayette, 62-15 over South Harrison, and 48-27 over Savannah – raised the 2020-21 CHS matmen’s dual-matches record to 18-7.

Adding those 18 to the 118 Chad Smith’s first six teams had amassed left him with 136 dual wins as CHS head coach.

That is the same total Doug Long’s teams captured during his long and short tenures in leading the program from 1977-95 and again in 1999-2000, more than twice the number of any CHS wrestling coach before or after him until Nebraskan Smith switched Hornets coaching jobs from the one at Hamilton’s Penney High to Chillicothe prior to the 2014-15 school year.

Smith’s and his assistant coaches’ guidance and the talents and efforts of the students they coaches immediately resulted in the most dual-match victories in a CHS season ever – 23 – his first year at the helm.

The next saw the most-successful team season ever, both in terms of total wins and winning percentage, as the Hornets finished 25-1.

Twice in the intervening four years, Smith’s squads have posted team wins totals which join the 2014-15 and 2015-16 marks among the top four all-time in CHS annals, helping him quickly move into second place in the program’s all-time coaching ranks.

Now, with seven wins in a row this month, Smith stands alongside Long atop the Chillicothe wrestling coach pedestal, seemingly soon to be there alone.

The record-breaker figures to come on Tuesday when the CHS grapplers visit Trenton for a dual. If not then, a road double-dual with host Macon and Palmyra next Thursday would provide the next opportunity.

With 18 victories tucked in their singlets and a half-dozen more duals on their schedule, if all take place, the 2020-21 team has a chance to equal or pass the 2014-15 team’s wins total and stand second only to the ’15-’16 squad for victories. At 25 duals already completed, if at least five of the remaining six come off as slated, this season would be a CHS record-setter for most duals participated in.

While the headline of Thursday’s triple sweep was Smith’s tying of the career coaching record, the evening was among the Hornets’ busiest and most successful on the mat.

While many of their match victories this season have seen the opposition with many gaps in their lineups, aiding the CHS cause, Thursday saw at least nine of the maximum-possible 14 bouts in each dual contested. One had 11 and another 10 and in each of the three one of the weight vacancies was Chillicothe’s, as it had no 126-pounds entry all evening.

Against host Lafayette, the Hornets’ 24-6 advantage in forfeiture points was helpful, but they still had a 36-12 advantage in wrestled bouts.

Prevailing by falls were Cayden Larson at 138, Lucas Reynolds at 220, Brock Miller at 195, Sheldon Rader at 113, and Bryce Dominique at 145 pounds. For Dominique, that was part of a team-best night of three pins in three bouts. He won in the middle of the third period (5:09 and 5:05) twice and in the second once (2:38).

Aside from the walkovers, Reynolds notched the quickest finish of the dual with the Irish, wrapping his 220-pounds bout up in 53 seconds.

Winners by decision were Dawson Sutton at 170 (9-6) and Justin Pyle at 132 (7-3).

Against South Harrison, Chillicothe claimed nine of the 11 contested bouts, seven by fall. Joining Dominique in that club were Brody Cairns at 160 pounds, Aidan Zimmerman at 138, Pyle, Larson, Rader, Reynolds (at 195), and Miller. The fastest to finish against SHHS’ Bulldogs was Rader, who needed only a half-minute to win, this time at 120 pounds.

Not getting a pin, but registering a technical fall after 5:09 was Reynolds. He held a 20-4 lead at that juncture. Wade Horton earned a 4-1 decision in the 220-pounds category to round out the CHS victories against the Bethany school’s team.

Against Savannah, with only an 18-6 head start through forfeits, the Chillicothe squad received pins from Priest Bosley at 152, Horton, and Cairns, who posted CHS’ fastest win of the night with a 26-seconds triumph.

Winning by decision were Rader and Pyle, each of whom won all three of their outings on the night. Taking two contested bouts plus a forfeit were Miller, Cairns and Reynolds. Taking their lone bouts were Zimmerman and Bosley.

On the girls’ side, Chillicothe split its two duals, besting Lafayette 18-6 and losing to Savannah 18-12.

Against the Lady Irish, the only contested bout went to the Lady Irish by a fall. Versus Savannah, the Lady Savages took both contests plus a forfeit to win.