One good turn deserves another, or so it's said.
That was certainly the mindset of Bayfield Wrestling Thursday night, Jan. 24, after a spirited 42-28 3A/2A Intermountain League dual win inside BHS Gymnasium over longtime circuit power Centauri.
"It's outstanding," said sophomore 126-pounder Dylan Pickering, who'd mathematically clinched the win over the 2A Falcons with a 15-0 technical fall, giving the 3A Wolverines a 36-22 lead with just one actual match to follow, plus a dual-ending forfeit win for 138-pounder Xander Dykes-over Jeremy Coombs.
"We're all building to where we need to be, and it's just awesome to beat Centauri."
"We're going into the tournament confident," he continued, "and just knowing what we need to execute."
On Saturday, the Wolverines travelled to Aztec for the 37th annual Tiger Duals.
Apparently other teams entered Lillywhite Gymnasium in pretty much the same confident demeanor.
Able to defeat 4A Bloomfield and 4A Shiprock by respective scores of 36-33 and 70-6, Bayfield's Saturday began with an eye-opening 42-34 loss to 4A Gallup. Losses to 4A Kirtland Central (42-33) and Utah 1A force Monticello (48-33) then followed before the Wolverines were able to claim victory.
"It was a pretty consistent theme," said head coach Todd McMenimen. "We'd get put on our backs, give up some points, and didn't have a full roster so it was tough to make up those points. There were some really top-notch schools from Albuquerque there, so it was good competition."
The dual versus Bloomfield went Bayfield's way when the Bobcats were docked three team points for 'flagrant misconduct biting,' likely when 132-pounder Diego Snell-Martinez was disqualified against Colby Baker.
All told, BHS, Gallup and 4A Belen each finished with a seventh-best two dual wins while the hosting Tigers went 5-0. Intermountain Leaguers Pagosa Springs and 5A Albuquerque Volcano Vista each went 4-1.
Individually, Pickering and junior 195-pound beast John Foutz each went 5-0 for Bayfield, with the former earning two wins by forfeit and the latter one. Senior Daniel Westbrook finished 4-1 at 220 with one forfeit win and a 3-2 ultimate-tiebreaker loss to KCHS standout Jarryd Pollard.
Baker, 120-pounder James Mars, 113-pounder Simon Schneider, 152-pounder Kobe Prior, 170-pounder Shane Moore and 182-pounder Paden Williamson all finished the meet with 3-2 records, with Baker and Schneider each winning twice by forfeit and the others once.
Dykes finished 2-3 at 138 with two forfeit wins, as did Geron Goring at 145 (Trey McKee, who'd missed the Centauri dual due to a knee injury, was still out), while Avery Mitzlaff went 1-4 at 106 with one forfeit win.
Up next for Bayfield will be the 2019 Butch Melton Memorial Invitational on Sat., Feb. 2, in Ignacio.