HOWARD — In a battle for canine supremacy, the East Knox Bulldogs hosted Bloom-Carroll and Heath for the third-annual Bulldog Brawl Thursday, with wrestling action from the youth, junior high and high school levels, including senior night for the older Bulldogs.
“Whenever we have senior night, it seems like we get the best out of our seniors that night,” coach Tim Moore said. “In many cases, we get our best out of some of our other wrestlers who want to make it a good night for our seniors.”
Heath and Bloom-Carroll got the action kicked off in the tri-meet, before East Knox took the mat to take on Bloom-Carroll.
Senior Tyler DeLucia was the first East Knox high schooler to get out on the mat. He put up a strong fight, but was pinned by Bloom-Carroll’s Evan Willett in the second period. Morgan Pilotti took on Kevin Tyler at 182 pounds and was bested by a pin in the first. Dyer Williams had the last regulation match against Bloom-Carroll’s Clay Dozer, succumbing to a pin in the second. Heavyweight Chris Pumphrey wrestled Zach Collins in an exhibition match and at the end of the back-and-forth affair, Collins got the pin in the third.
“I saw a lot of aggressiveness,” Moore said. “It all starts with your attitude and your willingness to go out there and assert yourself. We definitely have seen a few breakdowns in technique, but I would rather see the breakdowns in technique, because that’s easy to fix.”
Against Heath, DeLucia started the Bulldogs off on the right foot by pinning Carter Jacks at the 3:07-mark. Pilotti took on Kanyon McKee and lost via pinfall in the first. Williams closed out the night in a hotly contested match against Seth Ault. The Heath wrestler got the best of Williams by a pin in the second.
Full team results, as well as results for the Heath/Bloom-Carroll matchup were unavailable at press time.
The high school matches, as well as the junior matches, were on one mat in Howard, while the youth matches were happening on a second mat, leading to a lot of wrestling in one night.
“It definitely gives our youth wrestlers an opportunity to wrestle in front of a lot bigger crowd than they normally do,” Moore said. “It gives our junior high and high school wrestlers an opportunity to be big brothers and big sisters and go over there and cheer on the youth wrestlers. We run our practices back-to-back-to-back and they get to know each other. … It’s kind of like a big family reunion when we get to do these things.”
The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround, heading to Highland to compete in an invitational Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
“We’re going up to Highland this weekend. It’s a tough tournament with a lot of teams and a lot of good teams,” Moore said. “It’s good competition. Let’s pound our heads against good competition and see where we’re at.”