Polk wrestlers split with Mitchell, Mtn. Heritage

Published 12:49 am Friday, January 16, 2015

By Mark Schmerling

When Phillip Miller speaks, pay attention.

Miller, head coach of the Polk County High School varsity wrestling team, predicted last week that his Wolverines would have their hands full against returning state champion (and current first-ranked) Mitchell, but would likely defeat Mountain Heritage when the three teams met at Burnsville last Friday evening (Jan. 9).

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Mitchell did defeat Polk (58-21), but the Wolverines topped the Cougars, 37-30. The win made Polk 2-1 in the Western Highlands Conference, securing second place.

Against Mountain Heritage, Polk got pins from Triston Watkins (over Will Calkins at 106 pounds), Jerry Cox (over Jacob Morgan at 182), and Marquise Lipscomb (over Samuel Newman in the 285-pound match). In addition, Kevin Sandoval scored a 12-2 major decision (for four points) over Ethan Wilson at 120 pounds, and Anthony Marino moved up one weight class (to 160), edging Manuel Leyva, 4-2. Dustin Calvert and Cameron Reed scored forfeit wins.

Miller hadn’t figured the Mountain Heritage meet to be so close, but when 171-pounder Chandler Patrick became sick and missed the action, the Wolverines had to work that much harder.

“Ultimately, we did what we had to do there,” Miller remarked, adding that with the Wolverines currently second in the conference, their goal now, with Mitchell being Mitchell, is to maintain that position, to score good seeding in the conference tournament, set for Jan. 30.

Polk will host the conference tourney, which begins at 5 p.m.

Though the Wolverines came up short against the Mountaineers, Marino, Cox and Deven Panchyshyn pinned Houston Twiddy (152-pound bout), Josh Huggins (182 pounds) and Trevor Self (195 pounds), respectively. Calvert defeated Josh McGee, 7-2.

Going into Wednesday’s Owen meet, Dustin Calvert was 23-6, Chase Emory 27-4, Anthony Marino 22-3, Jerry Cox 18-8, Triston Watkins 18-7, and Deven Panchyshyn 13-10

On Friday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m., Polk hosts Hendersonville. Next Tuesday (Jan. 20), the Wolverines host Madison.

“We’re pretty happy right now,” Miller noted. If we get three more (conference) wins (against Owen, Hendersonville and Madison, we’ll be happier.”