If there was one word to describe Lincoln on the wrestling mats this year, it certainly wouldn’t be timid. The Abes were aggressive early and often against Wilson on Jan. 9, winning 10 of 12 matches to take a 64-9 win over the Rams at home.
“Our mentality is you don’t wait for action to happen, you bring the action,” said Lincoln senior captain Aliyas Fletcher, ranked seventh in the state in 3A at 220 pounds. “We do what we do, so they have to change their game plan and wrestle our match.”
Fletcher made quick work of Wilson’s Cole Hansen, shooting out to a 12-1 lead before getting a pin with six seconds left in the first round. The Abes’ B.J. Hawthorne, ranked No. 7 at 182 pounds, gained a 15-6 lead over Chris Vowell before getting a pin midway through the second round.
But the match of the night was between the Abes’ Jeremy Lukosh – ranked tenth at 195 pounds – and the Rams’ Tanner Colburn, who advanced to state at 220 pounds last year. The back-and-forth match wasn’t decided until Lukosh’s escape and takedown midway through the third round, as he held on for a 15-8 win to move to 17-1 overall on the year.
Lincoln was coming off a win at the Franklin Pierce Cardinal Classic the previous weekend, in which Lukosh, Hawthorne, Fletcher, Robert Mathews, Marcus Wiley and Murad Vagabov all claimed individual titles.
Mathews pinned Wilson’s Cyrus Volk in the third round at 138 pounds – moving to 15-3 overall on the year – while Wiley followed with a late reversal and pin to outlast the Rams’ Malcolm Martin at 145 pounds. Vagabov – filling in for ninth-ranked Keidrick O’Bannon at 170 pounds – pinned the Rams’ Kuran Paul early in the second round.
“Every match is about us getting more mat time, more experience, so that at the end of the year we’re peaking at the right time,” said Lincoln head coach Ed LaCross.
The Rams had their bright spots, as 152-pounder Alex Gore won 11-5 over the Abes’ Leonel Acosta, and sophomore Tyler Ferris – younger brother of graduated star Jake Ferris – pinned Lincoln’s J.J. Saili in the third round at 285 pounds.
“This was a big win for him,” said Wilson first-year head coach Josh Dickerson. “I expect a lot of good things to come.”
Lincoln senior Julian DeLeon charged out to a 14-3 lead over Jake Johnson before getting a pin late in the second round, and fellow senior Tommy You pinned the Rams’ Thien Tran in the first round at 120 pounds. Abes sophomore Solomon Sok got a pin of Wilson’s Alex Fasthorse midway through the 126-pound bout. The win put the Abes at 5-0 in Narrows 3A dual matches this season.