It’s been a historic season so far for the Indian River High School wrestling team.
And while the Indians will look to continue that historic run headed into state duals at Smyrna High School as the No. 2 seed later tonight, they sent their seniors out on a high note on Friday, Feb. 10, by capping the regular season with an 11-2 record and 53-16 win over Woodbridge.
“It was nice. Almost every senior got to wrestle. That was important for us,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish after the match. “A lot of them got wins on their last night in their home gym. It was a good sendoff for them, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
“It’s been an honor,” said senior Jared Arlett of wrestling with the rest of this year’s senior class throughout their careers and the season. “It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come this season. We’ve come a long way.”
While the night belonged to the seniors, the Indians jumped out to a 9-3 lead with a 5-3 decision from freshman Will Rayne at 106 and pin from freshman Ta’Jon Knight at 120.
It was up to the seniors to shine after that, with senior Jessie O’Neal getting a pin at 126, and Arlett earning a 12-2 major decision at 132.
At 160, 170 and 182, the Indians saw three straight pins from seniors Arturo “The Terminator” Salas, Zion Howard and Zeke Marcozzi, respectively.
“It was just a half and a wrist — I guess you could call it ‘the Terminator,’” Salas said of the move that sealed his victory at 160. “My opponent was tough, but Coach told us we had to get it done, so I just went out and wrestled my match.”
After earning his first career victory as a sophomore in a home meet against Woodbridge, Howard earned his last career victory in his home gym against the Blue Raiders with a pin in 4:44.
“He really put up a good fight. I really had to dig deep there,” Howard said of his battle at 170. “It really motivated me to help my other seniors get a win. They’ve been grinding every year since freshman year, so they deserved to go out with a win.”
At 182, Marcozzi claimed his 126th career victory, putting him just one shy of Mike Magaha’s school record of 127 career wins. With a potential two matches at state duals, Marcozzi could potentially match the record tonight.
The team saw their final senior get a win on a forfeit when John Keller went out at 195, and sophomore Zach Schultz and freshman Ramon Turner capped the match with back-to-back wins at 220 and heavyweight, respectively, with Shultz getting the pin in 1:21 and Turner earning the 10-0 major decision.
Headed into tonight’s duals ranked No. 2 and with Milford — who the Indians lost to by just four points in a regular-season match on Jan. 25 — ranked No. 1, the Indians were set to make their already historic season even more noteworthy.
“They believe. This is a team that’s pushed hard all year long,” said Windish of his squad. “We all want another shot at Milford. We know we left some points on the board, so I think we’re prepared and we’re gonna show up and wrestle.”
“People believe in us. We’re believing in ourselves. The community is really supporting us,” added Arlett. “I don’t think we’ve hit our peak yet. We’re hoping to get there right when we need it at duals.”
The dual team wrestling championships will be held at Smyrna High School on Tuesday, Feb. 14, scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Results (Feb. 10):
106: W.Rayne (IR) d. Cannon 5-3
113: Manning (W) d. C.Lopez 7-5
120: T.Knight (IR) p. Haynes :37
126: J.O’Neal (IR) p. Boyer 2:58
132: J.Arlett (IR) md. Ramos 12-2
138: A.Jackson (W) md. G.Gano 15-1
145: Hardy (W) d. Re.Turner 6-5
152: T.Jackson (W) p. J.Ciriello 2:34
160: A.Salas (IR) p. James 5:33
170: Z.Howard (IR) p. Atwood 4:44
182: Z.Marcozzi (IR) p. Veasey 1:34
195: J.Keller (IR) fft
220: Z.Shultz (IR) p. Young 1:21
285: R.Turner (IR) md. Bove 10-0