NAPPANEE — DeLawrence Gayfield got Concord High School wrestlers started Tuesday night with a pin victory in the night’s first match at 113 pounds.
Perhaps it was fitting since the athlete who answers to “DeeLo” is one of the Minutemen’s tri-captains and guiding forces.
“DeeLo is a great captain and a great team leader,” said first-year Concord coach Justin Rockenbaugh after watching Gayfield post the first of the Minutemen’s seven on-mat victories — all pins — on the way to a 60-24 road triumph against banged-up Northern Lakes Conference foe NorthWood. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He’s a smart wrestler. I’m sure the guys look up to him.”
Concord has three team captains — Gayfield, senior Tyler Wilson and junior Michael Rockenbaugh.
“My job as team captain is to help everybody out,” said Gayfield. “I will try to make them be more aggressive and work harder in practice.”
Gayfield moved to 17-1 on the 2012-13 season with his second-period stick.
“I’ve been working on offense this year and I’ve been doing better than last year,” said Gayfield, a junior whose only loss was an 8-4 decision against then-No. 7-ranked Connor Knapp (who beat Gayfield by technical fall during the 2012 state tournament series). “I think I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve been listening to my coaches (Rockenbaugh and Alex Keim) and learning new stuff every day.”
Concord (2-10, 1-3) also got pin wins from Wilson (220), JaKari Welch (195), Elliott Keller (152), Brendan Smith (138), Seth Shroyer (132) and Keven Devora (120). There were four forfeits on the night.
“They’re starting to show their potential and putting all their heart into it,” said Rockenbaugh. “These guys are becoming a family and becoming a team.”
NorthWood (4-10, 0-4) was missing six regulars from its varsity lineup due to illness and injury, including a couple with concussions.
All three of the Panthers’ on-mat wins came by pin.
Senior 182-pounder Zack Telschow moved to 14-1 on the season with his first-period fall.
“He’s an all-around great kid — academically, socially,” said first-year NorthWood coach Damon Hummel of Telschow. “He’s a good leader in the wrestling room.”
Hummel, a former Rochster High School wrestler who spent nine seasons as head wrestling coach at Speedway High School before moving back closer to family, is working to get his Panthers to embrace his wrestling style.
“We want to be aggressive,” said Hummel. “We want to hit the moves and dominate. Let’s make something happen. A lot of times kids are happy to get their takedown and ride or counter(-attack). I want them to get after it.”
Concord 60, NorthWood 24
(Competition Began at 113)
106 — Lucas Hochstetler (NW) by forfeit. 113 — DeLawrence Gayfield (C) pinned Matthew Pippenger 2:39. 120 — Keven Devora (C) pinned Ryan Price 1:08. 126 — Cody Pippen (NW) pinned Jjakes Krull-Ott :33. 132 — Seth Shroyer (C) pinned Tanner Fervida 1:48. 138 — Brendan Smith (C) pinned Tyler Kinney :56. 145 — Leandro Rodriguez (C) by forfeit.
152 — Elliott Keller (C) pinned Marshall Shafer 3:09. 160 — Brandon Menzie (NW) pinned Josh Stover 4:25. 170 — Michael Rockenbaugh (C) by forfeit. 182 — Zack Telschow (NW) pinned Dylan Westfall 1:52. 195 — JaKari Welch (C) pinned Karol Keller 1:29. 220 — Tyler Wilson (C) pinned Zach BeMiller :51. Hwt — Michael McQueen (C) by forfeit.
Records: Concord 2-10 (1-3 NLC), NorthWood 4-10 (0-4 NLC).
Next: Concord at Goshen Thursday; NorthWood in Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka Dec. 27-28.
JV: Winners: NorthWood — Tevin Pruitt (126).