Yellow Jackets take narrow win on the mat

DALE CITY — Osbourn Park got a win, but it was hardly what Yellow Jackets head coach Mike Welbourn had hoped for.

“I don’t want to focus on the negatives,” Welbourn said, “but I’m not happy.”

Even though Wednesday night’s 40-31 win over Gar-Field gave the Yellow Jackets six dual meet wins against zero losses, Welbourn said his team wrestled sloppy. Osbourn Park’s margin could have — should have, according to Welbourn — been greater.

Sloppy wrestling aside, what bugs Welbourn is his team’s attitude.

“I think these guys need to work real hard. We’re just way too cocky,” he said. “I think we’re the cockiest team in the region. And we’re not the best, so we shouldn’t be that cocky.”

Osbourn Park dropped the first two contested matches — the Jackets’ Jeremy Adams won by forfeit at 112 — by large margins. Gar-Field’s Tyler Bowers rebounded from an early deficit to score a major decision over Curry Farrio. And at 119, James Philiposian got an early takedown and never looked back, earning a technical fall in 5:09 over OP’s Daniel Vargasian.

All, however, was not ugly for OP. The visitors recorded victories in four of the next six matches to take a lead. OP’s Jimmy Stebbins got things started with a pin of Solomon Rice at 125.

Stebbins held off the quicker Rice when Rice shot in but seemed to lose his balance. Stebbins took advantage, scoring two points on the takedown and two more on back points. Rice got one back on an escape point late in the first period.

Rice started the second on the bottom, and managed to get to his feet against Stebbins. But Stebbins again caught Rice and put him on his back. Stebbins eventually got the pin with 1:21 left in the second.

“He’s been working on jamming heads, keeping his hands on the head [when an opponent shoots],” Welbourn said of Stebbins. “Jimmy’s been staying after practice, and working hard.”

After the Indians’ Steven Stetler came out with a pin in a closely contested match with David Elliott, OP got wins from Justin Waler (a 12-2 major decision) and Kris Lawson (a pin in 5:00). Waler’s win proved helpful to the Jackets’ chances: He scored three back points as time expired, pushing his win to a major decision and giving OP an extra team point.

Gar-Field made things closer during the final four matches, three of which were Indian wins. Chris Klancer jumped out to an 8-4 lead at 171, but his opponent, Luke Dombrowsky, pulled to within 8-7 on a takedown with 1:30 left in the match. Dombrowsky then let Klancer up, giving Klancer an escape point, but Dombrowsky was unable to get the subsequent takedown he needed.

Brett Carter followed with an equally close 7-4 win at 171, and heavyweight Mark Logan rounded out the match with a pin in 1:02 of Adam Coker. Coker seemed in control from the outset, snapping Logan to the mat. But Logan, a freshman, quickly reversed the momentum and put Coker on his back.

Gar-Field’s only blemish among the late matches was a pin by OP’s Buck Osborn at 215.

“Not bad at the top,” Indians coach Rick Seipp said. “I expect the kids to win, and I train them to win. They were good wins for those kids.

“Mark’s just a freshman, but he has unbelievable potential. I’m looking forward to coaching him for the next four years. I coached some good heavyweights … but he has the potential to be one of the best.”

After the match, Welbourn was also looking ahead, but not for the same reasons.

“Tomorrow’s going to be pure hell. And Friday,” he said. “I’m going to unleash my wolves.”

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