Trailing by five early against a school his squad hadn’t beaten in six years, Eau Claire Memorial senior Jacob Guibord trotted out to the mat for his 145-pound match just trying to do whatever it took to win.
He knew his fellow Old Abes middleweights were more than capable of going on a run. It was his job to get the ball rolling.
That’s just what he did.
Guibord earned a pin a minute and a half into his match, and it set off a Memorial fall frenzy. The next five Abes all won via pin en route to a 52-18 Big Rivers dual meet win over Eau Claire North on Tuesday night at the Eagles Nest.
“Any win and any loss, your emotions affect the team,” Guibord said. “So my job was to go out there and keep my head level and wrestle like I had the past six years.”
He earned his fall in 1 minute, 31 seconds, while Brady Guibord followed suit with a pin in 25 seconds at 152.
Suddenly, it was 16-9 and the momentum had completely turned. That was just the beginning.
Darren Anderson pinned his man in 58 seconds and Levi Smith needed just 1:24 and a nifty double-leg takedown to win at 182.
Ethan Sirianni and Ethan Mitra both needed to get past the first periods to earn their falls, but they came nevertheless.
Sirriani gutted out a win at 195 with just 24 seconds left in the match. At 220, Mitra got a throw and got two shoulders on the mat in 2:40.
“We talked to the guys before the match and said anytime we have a guy on his back, we needed to pin them,” Memorial coach Randy Belonga said. “We haven’t been doing that lately. The kids are learning, and they did a nice job tonight of when they got kids in trouble, they kept them in trouble and put them away. That was a great step forward for these guys”
Liam Huset was the lone Old Abe to win by going the distance, but he wrestled his 132-pound match with the same mentality his teammates had all night. Huset got an early takedown, and after surviving a throw and near fall, cruised his way to a 16-5 major decision.
Memorial made it an emphasis to get aggressive right from the whistle on Tuesday night, and it paid off.
“It’s really a mentality of always working and always fighting. (Coach) Belonga says to always go all out, never let off the gas,” Jacob Guibord said.
The Huskies had their share of highlights too.
Mason Phillips, one of the most decorated wrestlers in the area with three individual state medals, got a quick 35-second pin at 138. Phillips got an early takedown, let his man up and took him down almost immediately after. Looking as though he may go for points, Phillips realized quickly he was in a position to work the wrist and made a quick move to secure the fall.
The match of the night was at 285. Memorial’s Matt Drath was trailing 8-4 with less than 30 seconds to go before he got a head throw and 2-second near fall to tie the score. But as time expired, Dean Nash escaped him to earn the 9-8 decision.
North’s Ethan Johnson won a hard-fought 2-0 decision at 126.
This night, though, belonged to the Old Abes, who ended a six-year dual drought against their crosstown rival.
“We wanted to give it everything,” Anderson said. “Wrestling is a sport where you can’t pick and choose your battles. You have to fight them all. So we knew every one of us had to go out there and give it everything we had.”