Matt Sanders attempts to roll Marshfield’s Taylor Dornbusch on his shoulders. Dornbusch later won by decision in overtime during the hard-fought match.
Showing a complete turnaround from their first meets of the season, the Brookings-Harbor High School Bruin wrestlers won two of their three dual meets Thursday evening on the their home mats.
Whether it was the added experience on the mat or additional training, the Bruins looked like a completely different team wrestling three of its conference rivals.
“The team has been working their butts off to get better every day. It really shows tonight,” said head coach Jef Hatch.
The Bruins started the evening off strong, showing exceptionally well against the North Bend Bulldogs with Hunter Niedens, Jess Fitzhugh, Matt Sanders and Isaiah Ross pinning their opponents quickly, most within the first minute of the match.
“Beating North Bend was great. We had to win those matches,” Hatch said.
In three matches against a numerically small Siuslaw squad, Brookings-Harbor pinned two of their opponents. Matt Sanders and Isaiah Ross again won by pin, with Sanders pinning his opponent at the beginning of the second round and Ross taking down his opponent and turning it into pin barely a minute into the match.
The final dual of the night pitted the Bruins against Marshfield High School, which brought a full roster of wrestlers. Brookings-Harbor ended up forfeiting six of its matches to Marshfield, and lost another five matches, four by pin and another by decision in overtime.
But BHHS managed to win three of its matches by pin, with Hunter Niedens, Tyler Marrington and David Hull taking home victories.
Hatch credits the many wins on Thursday to a more experienced team and more intense practices.
“We had a ‘blue flag day’ the other day during practice. It was high intensity, with constant pushing that day,” Hatch said. “I think it flipped a switch and made them realize they had to work harder.”
The team travels to Eureka Saturday for the North Coast Classic.