By: Chris Manning | AthensWildcats.com | December 21, 2021 | Photo courtesy Matt Patton


ATHENS — It wasn't the prettiest win, but Athens used five first-period falls, and two close decisions to pull out a 36-33 victory over Troy in NTL wrestling action here Tuesday.

"We knew coming in it was going to be close," Athens coach Shawn Bradley said. "And Troy's wrestled well in the couple dual meets they've wrestled, but we didn't wrestle well.

"I mean, I can honestly say that, a lot of those matches we were out-conditioned, which is terrible to say, but it's true," noted Bradley. "I've got to give (Troy coach) Brandon (Spiak) credit, his guys came to wrestle, and they came after it and pulled out a couple close ones."

Neither team had their full line-up, with Athens giving up three forfeits on the day, while Troy had to bump guys around to fill their line-up.

"They were without one of their studs, and we were without one of ours, so, hopefully, that's a wash there," remarked Bradley. "But, again, we left some points on the board, that we should have scored, but hats off to them."

Gavin Bradley (126), Kaden Setzer (138), Lucas Forbes (152), Karter Rude (160), and Josh Nittinger (285) all had falls for Athens, while Jacob Courtney (145) and Cameron Whitmarsh (172) earned two decisions.

"Lucas Forbes, that's a big win, he stepped up," said Bradley. "And Cameron Whitmarsh, he hadn't wrestled for a couple years, he stepped up. So those are big wins, you don't get those, you lose the match."

Courtney's victory decided the match, though it was just the fourth bout. He built a 7-4 lead through the middle of the second period, but it was Troy's Jacob Hinman who scored six straight points to go up 10-7 into the third.

In the final period, Courtney caught Hinman in a cradle, and once again used a five-point swing to go up 12-10, then hung on for the 14-11 win.

Despite pulling out the match, Bradley felt Courtney should have ended it in the first period when he had Hinman cradled up the first time, and nearly pinned him.

"If he's going to wrestle heavier kids, he can't mess around," Bradley said. "That kid is strong, he's a good athlete, and a good wrestler. He's got to score points. So he got that kid on his back, and should have had the pin in the first period."

Athens won six of the first seven bouts to go up 30-6, beginning with Gavin Bradley (126) pinning Kenyon Slater in 34 seconds.

Troy tied it up at 6-6 off a Seth Seymour (132) forfeit.

The Wildcats then rattled off five straight wins, beginning with Kaden Setzer (138) getting a 40-second pin over Peyton Bellows at 138.

Then came the Jacob Courtney (145) over Jacob Hinman match to push Athens' lead to 15-6.

Lucas Forbes (152) scored a fall over Eli Randall in 1:33, followed by Karter Rude (160) getting a fall in 1:25 over Rylan Breidt to push the lead to 27-6.

At 172, Cameron Whitmarsh was able to get four takedowns on William Steele for the 9-3 win to extend the lead to 30-6.

Troy's Josh Isbell was able to stop the run with a 9-7 decision over Colin Rosh, holding off a Rosh shot late to secure the win.

Then at 215, Trojan Mason Woodward got a fall over Caleb Nason in 4:15 to cut it to 30-15.

Athens would seal the victory at 285 with Josh Nittinger's fall over Daniel Samuels in 20 seconds.

Troy won the final three bouts: Kannon Renzo (106) by forfeit, Konner Kerr (113) with a 48 second fall over Keaton Sinsabaugh, and Caleb Schwenk (120) with a forfeit.

There is no rest for Athens as they have three more matches on Wednesday when they host the Athens Duals, then get a short break before things heat up in January.

"It's a good starting point, Troy's a good team, but if were going to stay in the match against teams like Canton, though, we're going to have to wrestle a lot better than that," said Bradley.


126: Gavin Bradley (A) fall Kenyon Slater, :34
132: Seth Seymour (T) fft
138: Kaden Setzer (A) fall Peyton Bellows, :40
145: Jacob Courtney (A) dec. Jacob Hinman, 14-11
152: Lucas Forbes (A) fall Eli Randall, 1:33
160: Karter Rude (A) fall Rylan Breidt, 1:25
172: Cameron Whitmarsh (A) dec. William Steele, 9-3
189: Josh Isbell (T) dec. Colin Rosh, 9-7
215: Mason Woodward (T) fall Caleb Nason, 4:15
285: Josh Nittinger (A) fall Daniel Samuels, :20
106: Kannon Renzo (T) fft
113: Konner Kerr (T) fall Keaton Sinsabaugh, :48
120: Caleb Schwenk (T) fft