Pack pulls togetherPublished 4:05pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013
With star wrestlers Thomas Remick and Devon Van Cura sidelined with injures, Washington coach Daniel Riggs knew he had to rely on his backups to back down West Craven.
The Pam Pack coach would not be disappointed as Washington delivered a stellar team effort that enabled it to wipeout a 19-point deficit and lockdown a 41-30 victory over the Coastal Conference rival Eagles.
“I’m pleased because a lot of kids stepped up,” Riggs said. “We had a lot of toss up matches but we had a lot of guys go out there and fill in spots that we needed them to.”
Trailing by seven points with only three matches left, the Pam Pack desperately needed a big time performance and Jay Campbell delivered. The 195-pounder came through with a pivotal pin of his opponent to pick up six points for Washington and put it within striking distance of the Eagles.
“There were a few heart attack moments there but he kept himself under control and finished the pin which is what we needed,” Riggs said of Campbell. “I told him before he stepped out there that we needed a pin. It took him a little bit but he gained his composure and got us a pin that we really needed.”
Following Campbell’s match, a forfeit put the Pack ahead by five before Lane Jackson sealed the deal with a pin of his own to hand Washington the win.
“He’s starting to step it up,” Riggs said of Jackson. “I know last week he wasn’t feeling so well and it kind of showed in his matches but I told him I wanted to see all his hard work pay off tonight and it did.”
The win was a touching one, as Pam Pack wrestlers Ian Stroud and Neil Jennings showed tremendous support for teammate Adam McLawhorn. McLawhorn’s grandfather recently passed away and both Stroud and Jennings, who wrestle in the same weight class, decided to step aside to let McLawhorn get on the mat.
“(Stroud and Jennings) showed a lot of class tonight,” Riggs said. “McLawhorn’s grandfather passed away and they decided to sit tonight so he could get the match. There were a lot of good things I saw character-wise tonight.”
McLawhorn won his match via forfeit.
Early on it was forfeits that hurt the Pack as it fell in a 12-0 hole. Jason Gardner broke the slide as he earned a tech-fall over Zaire Lagne to pick up five points.
Washington cut the Eagles’ lead to one as David Giordano pinned his opponent with :50 to go in the first period. However, the Pack hit a slide as it suffered three straight losses with a forfeit sandwiched in between that left them facing a 30-11 deficit.
With momentum on the side of the Eagles, the Pam Pack wrestled it away as it picked up 12 straight points on two forfeits before Campbell and Jackson recorded their pins.