By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY -- Sherando senior Jacob Guthridge knows Skyline's Noah Goss very well, but Goss knows Guthridge just as well. The two wrestlers train together and know each other's moves on the mat.
That's why it was no surprise the two found themselves in a hard-fought battle during Sherando's 46-24 team victory over Skyline on Tuesday night.
"He's a good friend," Guthridge said. "I have a lot of respect for him -- solid wrestler. He knows my styles."
Guthridge found himself down 2-0 as the pair entered the final period of their 132-pound match. Guthridge got an escape to cut the lead to 2-1, and then finally took the lead with 48 seconds left.
Guthridge finished the match off 20 seconds later with a pin to give the Warriors an early 12-6 lead.
"I hit him in a cradle, and put him to his back, and just did what we train to do every day," Guthridge said. "I love competitive matches like this. I like to be challenged like this. It shows you what you need to work on. I need to work on my foot movement and maybe some more turns from on top."
Skyline's Caleb VanDoren beat Colton Simmons 3-2 at 138, and Sherando's Jordan Dalton major decisoned Garrett Maddox to give Sherando a 16-9 lead.
The Hawks took the lead as Josiah Huston held off Sherando's John Borst, 6-3, at 152, and Dustin Santmyers pinned Noah Fox for an 18-16 lead.
"Josiah was dealing with an injury, so he really had to dig deep to pull that out," Skyline coach Matt Keel said.
At 170, Sherando's P.K. Jessen won by forfeit to give the Warriors the lead back. Two Sherando seniors then stepped up big on Senior Night to pull out the team victory.
At 182, Killian McPartland pinned Skyline's Alex Shaffer in 55 seconds.
"It's a lot of pressure, everybody else is counting on you to get those points," McPartland said of the close team score. "I just had to stay calm, because when I get nervous I tend to mess up. So I just had to stay calm and just take it as it came."
McPartland's teammate senior Chris Morgan did the same as he pinned Isaiah Washington in just 54 seconds. Morgan said he and McPartland have a little friendly competition going on.
"If [McPartland] gets a pin, I definitely got to get a pin," Morgan said. "I can't go out there and take a loss after him."
Morgan's pin gave Sherando a 34-18 lead, and a Skyline forfeit at 220 sealed the team victory. Morgan said picking up the win was even better considering that it was Senior Night.
"I knew I had to come out here and I had to get a win regardless because I knew my family was out there watching, and my mom was pretty proud," Morgan said.
The Hawks also defeated Handley, 53-24, in a dual match before wrestling Sherando. Justin Cornwell (106), VanDoren, Huston and Santmyers each went 2-0 for the Hawks.
"Sherando wrestled really well," Keel said. "They won a bunch of matchups that I thought were tossups, that I thought we could win. And not only did they win, but they pinned us. Their kids really stepped up and did a good job."
The Warriors have lost only three dual matches all season, and have plenty of confidence with the postseason just a few weeks away.
"We have a lot more we can accomplish. We just gotta keep putting in the hard work," Guthridge said. "We're hungry. [Skyline] is the returning district champs, and I think we put up a pretty good score against them. We gotta practice as hard as we can, and keep going and looking to take it further and further each day."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd