Wrestling Loses and Ties on Senior Night

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The FHN varsity wrestling team lost to CBC 18-54 and tied Ritenour 36-36 in a tri-meet last Tuesday, Jan. 27. This brings the wrestling team’s record

Sam Ritchie Pinning opponent in 17 seconds (photo by jessica allison)
Sam Ritchie Pinning opponent in 17 seconds (photo by jessica allison)

to 0-7-1 on the season with two meets remaining.

“I was pretty optimistic going into to the meet,” Assistant Wrestling Coach Chris Brown said. “We knew for the most part that we’re not going to win duels with all of the opens that we have, but we felt good about the matchups we did have.”

The Knights, Cadets and Huskies all competed in a round-robin style of play with the exception of the undermanned Ritenour squad, which has neither a junior varsity nor a freshman team. FHN did well in the matches in which they could perform, losing just two matches to CBC when they had a wrestler on the mat, and they clearly performed well enough to tie Ritenour.

“We performed just like we thought we would,” Brown said. “We won the matches we should have won, and lost to better wrestlers and because of opens.”

The biggest highlight of the meet was the 17 sec. pin by FHN Wrestler Sam Ritchie against Taylor Keller of CBC. It was simply incredible to watch, as Ritchie immediately took Keller to the mat, and proceeded to break him down until he got the pin. It earned an unimaginably loud ovation from the crowd, as it should have; no one was more proud, though, than Ritchie’s father, Head Wrestling Coach Harold Ritchie. It was the second-to-last home meet for both of the Ritchies, as Sam will be graduating and his father will be retiring after this season.

“I knew it was an opponent I was going to be able to beat,” Ritchie said in an interview after the meet. “I was a little bit nervous, but I was still confident that I was going to be able to come out with a win… It feels good, especially on my Senior Night, to just whoop up on somebody in front of everyone who came out tonight; I really appreciate that.”

Coach Brown shared his thoughts on The Pin the next day:

“I really enjoyed it- all 17 sec.,” Brown said. “You couldn’t ask for much better. I’ve seen some pretty quick pins in my days, but it’s rare that you do it that fast.”

Moving forward, the wrestling team will be losing six key seniors to graduation for next season, along with Coach Ritchie, forcing a lot of change on the FHN wrestling team. It’s normally very difficult to deal with these kinds of changes, but Coach Brown is looking towards next season with a high level of optimism.

“Next season’s going to be a lot different,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to building this program back up to where it used to be. There are a lot of eighth-graders coming in to fill our open spots, and there are a lot of juniors still left on this team. I’m optimistic.”

In the end, though, Sam Ritchie stole the show with his unprecedentedly fast pin in his match, and he was very thankful after the meet.

“I’d like to thank my dad, all the coaches and everyone who’s ever been there for me throughout this journey,” Ritchie said in the same post-game interview. “It’s been an amazing experience.”