Wrestling newcomer shows worth in Tigers opener
FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School wrestling team didn’t know what to expect from newcomer Jacob Smith. But with one inspiring move Thursday in the second period of his first match as a Tiger, Smith served notice that he’ll be a fighter this year for the Tigers.
Smith, a recent transplant from Georgia, was on his back for several seconds against Elizabeth’s Cameron Rau before flipping a reversal and pinning Rau in the final seconds of the second period.
“He got too far over me so I could flip him over,” said the 135-pounder, a junior who had never wrestled at the varsity level before Thursday.
Smith’s pin was the first of the season for the Tigers, and it set a high bar for him for the rest of the year.
“Jacob surprised all of us,” said Summit coach Scott Giles. “To come off your back like that and stick your guy was just a thrill.
“He was unknown to us, but we know his heart now, and we expect that every time.”
Before Smith’s win, John Wheeler reversed the Tigers’ fortunes with a 10-7 decision in the 130-pound match. To that point, Summit was sending their many freshmen into the varsity fire and getting hammered.
Elizabeth pinned the Tigers in the first three matches and the last two. That and some forfeits led to a 60-15 loss in the dual.
But Wheeler’s match was a positive. He out-lasted his opponent in a bout that went the distance despite recently dropping pounds to get to 130.
“He ran out of gas at the end,” Giles said. “He’s dropping ten pounds, so he’s having a challenge for himself.”
Aaron Nelson (145) pinned his man in the first period in what Giles called a clinic in Tigers wrestling.
“He just gave everyone a lesson,” he said. “That’s exactly the way we want to do it. He wrestled tonight like a team captain.”
Summit travels to Middle Park for the Panther Invitational on Saturday.
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