Facing an upperclassmen-dominated Powell team on its senior night, the Cody wrestlers won five matches Tuesday.
The Broncs lost the dual 48-32, but coach Trev Wood said he was happy with the performance.
“The key matches we thought we could win, we won,” he said.
Those matches included Zain Fitzgerald (138 pounds) against Corey Linebaugh and Brady Deming (145) against Riley Bennett.
Fitzgerald, currently ranked fifth in his weight class, had lost to No. 3 Linebaugh in overtime earlier this season.
“For him to come back and get a big win was awesome,” Wood said.
This time Fitzgerald dominated, winning a 13-0 major decision. Up 2-0 after the first period, he scored an escape, takedown and two nearfalls to go up 10-0 after the second. He added another nearfall in the third.
“I’ve been working hard on conditioning and good technique,” he said. “He’s a tough kid but I knew if I was conditioned I’d beat him.”
Deming is No. 4 in his weight class, while Bennett is No. 6. Two takedowns in the first period gave Deming a 2-1 advantage.
He earned two reversals and nearfall in the second period, and a nearfall, escape and takedown on his way to a 16-8 victory.
“I felt confident I was going to win,” he said. “I worked to stay solid on my feet. I need to get in a little better shape though. I was tired at the end and was trying to stall the rest of it out.”
To start the night, Cody quickly found itself down 30-0. After a forfeit at 106, Kale Mickelson (113) was pinned by Logan Werner, Jake Caudle (120) lost by fall to Emma Karhu, Ghavin Vance (126) was pinned by Trevor Feller, and Dylan Campbell (132) lost by fall to Michael Maddox.
Then Fitzgerald and Deming both earned Cody’s first points of the dual.
“We had four freshmen against some rated kids for Powell,” Wood said. “But the Zain train stopped the momentum.”
Jackson Wood (152) added six more points when he pinned Colby Bennett late in the second period. Wood was leading 9-2 at that point.
After Drew Trotter (160) lost by fall to Seth Horton, Grayson Beaudrie (170) pinned Lannon Brazelton late in the first period.
In another freshman versus senior match, Jace Grant (182) lost to Matt Seckman by fall in the third period.
“It was a good match for Jace,” Wood said. “He’s been looking better in practice and tournaments.”
Powell forfeited at 195 and Jonny Williams (220) lost to Carson Olsen by fall in the first period.
In the final match, No. 3 Jeff Williams (285) pinned No. 5 Dallas Oliver late in the first period.
“Jeff almost got in trouble, but he used his knowledge the second time it happened to stop it,” Wood said.
Oliver got the first takedown and nearly pinned Williams, who eventually earned an escape and takedown of his own.
“I knew what he’d run and I thought I could catch him in it and get the easy two and flip him,” Williams said. “I got caught but then I knew I’d do it right the next time.”
In JV matches, Kade Fitzgerald (152) pinned Jay Swaney in the second period, Will Thomasson (160) pinned Wyatt Moulton in the second period, and Brice Stewart pinned Moulton in the second period.
Nathan St. Claire (145) was pinned by Evan Habeck and Collin Lindeman (152) lost to Stetson Davis by fall.
Cody hosts Greybull on Thursday at 6 p.m. Friday, Buffalo pulled out of the scheduled double dual, so Powell will take on Worland at 5 p.m. Then Cody will wrestle the Warriors at about 6:30 p.m.
“I’m super excited to perform in front of the home crowd,” Zain Fitzgerald said. “It will be fun since it’s my last year.”
It will be the Broncs first home matches since mid-December.
“To finally come back and get under the lights will be fun,” Jeff Williams said.