JERSEY SHORE - Trevor Sones hasn't exactly been put into the easiest of positions in his recent dual-meet bouts. The Hughesville freshman 113-pounder has found himself in the last week wrestling twice with tied match scores as one of the final four bouts.
Both times he's come up with a huge bonus-point victory. Tuesday night against Jersey Shore, Sones' fall set the stage for Matt Heinreich to close out the Spartans' 42-30 win over the Bulldogs.
He's wrestled with the weight of the match on his shoulders, but has wrestled like it's a mid-week workout in Hughesville's wrestling room. His 16th win of the season last night gave Hughesville a six-point cushion heading into the final bout. And the win helped pad the Spartans' record (10-8), clinching their spot in the District 4 Duals tournament with two matches left before the cutoff date Saturday.
"He is starting to get it. Across the board, everything," Hughesville head coach Steve Budman said. "He's seeing that what you do in the wrestling room translates to what you do on the wrestling mat."
The former PJW state qualifier is 10-2 in his last 12 bouts for the Spartans, including three season-defining wins in his last three bouts. A week ago he beat Muncy's Jacob Dgien in a must-win bout, fighting off his back at the end of the first period to record a major decision. Saturday he beat Lewisburg's Brian Friery, who is ranked 15th in the state at 106 pounds, 9-2. And last night, again with Hughesville tied, 30-30, Sones put on an offensive onslaught before running a bar arm for a fall in the third period.
Sones' emergence has coincided with the Spartans beginning to put together the makings of a dangerous dual-meet team with the district duals tournament a week away.
"He's surprised us," Hughesville's Dakota Nixon said. "Coach always brings a freshman up and sees how they do and determines whether to keep them up. Trevor's been wrestling real tough. He knocks off some kids ranked in the region and they're big wins."
Last night Sones' win not only snapped a 30-30 tie, it also ended a run of four consecutive Jersey Shore wins which propelled the Bulldogs from a 30-9 deficit to a tie. Sones pinned Jersey Shore's Allen Saar, another freshman, after building a 7-0 lead.
It was one of four true toss-up matches during last night's dual. Hughesville went 3-1 in those toss-ups.
"He's in excellent shape and I believe he's doing extra workouts, too," Budman said. "He has that look in the third period that he just wants more. I definitely see a lot of promise, but promise means talking about the future and I expect a lot out of him this year."
Nixon recorded maybe the biggest win of the night by beating Shore's Zak Herman, 5-2, with an impressive tilt in the final 15 seconds to get three back points to win. The sophomore improved to 21-1 this year, but it was maybe his biggest win of the season.
Nixon hasn't beaten a wrestler of Herman's (13-4) quality since he made his drop to 145 pounds at the start of the new year. Herman, who rejoined the team at Jersey Shore after taking a year off, upset a returning state qualifier in his first bout of the season and finished second at the Top Hat to returning state placewinner Seth Lansberry of Line Mountain.
A second-period reversal by Nixon tied the bout at 2-2 and Nixon rode Herman for the final 3:44 of the bout to pick up the win. He scrambled out of Herman's escape attempts, either getting out of bounds or finding his grip, numerous times.
Then, in the final 15 seconds, he hit a tilt and was able to hold down an arching Herman to get a five-count for three near-fall points in an impressive display of strength.
"Dakota is absolutely great on his feet, but he is absolutely no going to be able to take everyone down in the state. Not going to happen," Budman said. "In all reality, that's why we wanted to see this. He has to get better on bottom. He got a reversal on bottom and that's why I put him down there. He's good on his feet, he's getting good on bottom, and you can see what he did on top."
"I thought he wrestled well, but maybe tried to do something that he shouldn't have and gave up the big points," Jersey Shore head coach Shawn Weaver said of Herman.
106: Noah Ulmer, JS, pinned Jacob Snyder, 1:08; 113: Trevor Sones, H, pinned Allen Saar, 4:54; 120: Matt Heinreich, H, pinned Coy Killion, 1:22; 126: Zach Fry, H, pinned Colton Killion, 2:43; 132: Hayden Swartwood, JS, pinned Houston Bryant, 1:25. 138: Austin White, JS, dec. Eric Hiller, 9-8; 145: Dakota Nixon, H, dec. Zak Herman, 5-2; 152: Nick Gorg, H, pinned Jake Defonzohes, 1:30; 160: Kyle Barnes, H, pinned Spencer Lane, :33; 170: Matt Herr, H, dec. Utoa Agae-Naipo, 7-2; 182: Robert White, H, pinned Logan English, 1:06; 195: Nate Lose, JS, medical default Dakota Gee, :35; 220: Jacob Huling, JS, dec. Jacoby Foresman, 9-6; 285: Nate Caputo, JS, won by forfeit.
*Match started at 126 pounds
Takedowns: Hughesville 12, Jersey Shore 7.
Official: Mark Dawson.
Records: Hughesville (10-7); Jersey Shore (9-4).