The three-man George Steven Academy wrestling team collided with Dexter and Ellsworth on Wednesday, January 4, in a meet that saw the away teams filling nearly every weight class.
“It’s kind of hard,” first-year Coach Chris Gray said. “We only fill three weight classes out of 14.” For every weight class the GSA team can’t fill, they lose six points.
In fact, juniors Jordan Lord and Alex Turanksi frequently wrestle up one class if no one is available in their own weight class.
“My lightweights are incredibly strong,” Gray said. “Turanski and Lord will do well this year; I’m sure of it.”
Lord wrestles in the 132-pound weight class, and Turanski in the 126-pound class.
Junior Tim Allen, at 208 pounds, wrestles in the 220-pound class, and “goes out with great heart,” said Gray.
Lord, Turanski and Allen were undefeated in individual matches until December 31, when they ran up against the Morse and Nokomis teams. All three are in their second year wrestling for GSA.
“I’ve beat Ellsworth before,” said Turanski. “The Dexter guy—if he stands up straight, I feel I can get a good shot.”
After a nearly three-hour wait while the Dexter and Ellsworth teams battled each other, the GSA wrestlers hit the mats just before 9 p.m.
Turanski battled a tough three rounds against Ellsworth’s Zack Harris that saw the GSA junior down 1-2 at the end of the second round. A strong escape in the third round, followed by a take-down with less than 30 seconds left in the third and final round, tied the score 2-2, resulting in sudden-death overtime. It took Turanski only five seconds to wrestle Harris to the mat for a 4-2 win.
He wasn’t so lucky against Dexter’s Tyler Salisbury. A turnover brought him close, at 4-5, by the end of the second round, but Turanski lost with a final score of 4-8.
The Dexter team is an “historic power,” said wrestling parent Rich Lord.
Tim Allen also lost against Dexter opponent Josh Haskell when Haskell pinned him in the second round, and suffered a loss to Ellsworth’s Michael Garland by the same move.
Jordan Lord suffered a second-round pin by Ellsworth’s Dustin Smelley, but was able to triumph in his match against Dexter’s Seth Blais, increasing his lead through each round until the match was stopped at 17-2 with 23 seconds left. (If one opponent is up by 15 points, he automatically wins.)
The Dexter wrestlers ended with decisive wins against both Ellsworth and GSA.
“Conditioning is the hardest part of wrestling,” Allen said. “Flinging people around—that’s the fun part.”