DALE CITY — Woodbridge wrestling coach Anthony McDuffie stresses situational awareness with his team during practice: Knowing where you are on the mat, what the score is, and how much time is left.
The knowledge came in handy on Wednesday in the Vikings’ narrow 33-30 win over Gar-Field.
With the match still very much in doubt — and Gar-Field knowing it would get six more points at heavyweight because of a Viking forfeit — Woodbridge’s Zack Adler won a crucial decision at 171 pounds over Chris Klancer.
It was a battle between two of the area’s top wrestlers at that weight. Klancer wrestled offensively in the opening minute, but was less aggressive as the period wound down. Klancer did get the first points of the bout, and that came on an excellent escape late in the first.
After a scoreless second period, Adler notched a quick reversal in the opening seconds of the third. Both wrestlers went for broke as the seconds ticked away: Fewer than 10 seconds remained when Klancer broke free of Adler’s control. The escape tied the match at 2-2.
Adler saw an opening and took advantage, regaining control and scoring the takedown just before the final buzzer to secure the 4-2 win.
“Coach McDuffie works us hard in thinking through [the match],” Adler said.
“By then, you’re so tired, you have to clear your mind,” McDuffie explained. “Nobody’s going to use a five-point move in the third period. That was a big key … the switch, and then the re-switch.”
Adler’s win put the Vikings ahead 27-21, after the Indians had jumped out to leads of 12-0 and 21-10. Woodbridge battled back each time, and finally evened the score at 21-21 in the match’s other marquee bout at 152 pounds. The Vikings’ Bubba Bush scored a takedown in each of the three periods, and that was enough to hold off George Hilios 6-0.
Gar-Field won four of the first six matches — with Tyler Bowers (103) and Thomas Lewellen (112) getting pins in the run — before Woodbridge won five straight, which culminated in Adler’s thriller.
Indians coach Rick Seipp pointed to Woodbridge freshman Julian Lane’s pin at 119 as a key to the match. And although it may have been a loss, he said it shows the Indians that they belong among the Cardinal District’s top teams.
“It gives our kids some confidence, and they know in districts they have a shot,” Seipp said. “At 119, it was 2-2 and then we get pinned. We were one match away from winning the dual meet. But I can’t criticize our kids’ effort.”
“It is what it is, it’s Gar-Field against Woodbridge,” McDuffie added. “They’ve got a real nice team. I knew it was going to be a dogfight when it was 21-21, it was like we’re stepping on the gas but we’re not pulling away. It was a hell of a match.”
WOODBRIDGE 33, GAR-FIELD 30
103 — Tyler Bowers (GF) pin Mike Kullback in 3:05
112 — Thomas Lewellen (GF) pin Olu Taiudeen in 4:52
119 — Julian Lane (W) pin James Philiposian in 4:25
125 — Matt Stemmler (W) maj. dec. Solomon Rice 13-2
130 — Cedrick Rice (GF) pin Bobby Tuttle in 5:11
135 — Justin Martin (GF) dec. Robbie Bauman 5-4
140 — Jimmy Mocello (W) maj. dec. Steven Stotler 15-5
145 — Kyle Brown (W) maj. dec. Kevin Ford 15-6
152 — Bubba Bush (W) dec. George Hilios 6-0
160 — John Mocello (W) dec. Joey Schoenborn 6-5
171 — Zack Adler (W) dec. Chris Klancer 4-2
189 — Brett Carter (GF) dec. Ryan Manasstra 2-0
215 — Erik Noel (W) pin Abe Biller in 5:34
Hwt — Mark Logan (GF) won by forfeit