Sonoraville visited Calhoun for a duals match and after trailing 13-12 early, the Firebirds rallied and pulled away for a 43-22 win.
“I thought we wrestled well, and we saw what we have been working on in practice translate to the mats tonight,” said Sonoraville coach Steve Hamilton. “This is a good win for us. They beat us last year, and it left a bad taste in our mouth so our kids were really looking forward to this match.
“Any time we compete against Calhoun in anything, it’s big. The kids were really excited and ready for it.”
Earning wins for Sonoraville in the match were Ryan Farist (152) by pin, Abel Diaz (195) by pin, Sam Wells (285) by pin, Austin Bowen (106) by decision, Kyle Chastain (113) by pin, Austin Tillman (126) by pin, Matt Charles (132) by pin and Chris Gonzalez (145) by major decision.
Calhoun earned decision wins from Donnell Anthony (160), Will Conley (170), Luke Green (182), Dustyn Harris (220) and Chandler Quinn (138) as well as earning six points from a forfeit in the 120-pound weight class.
Perhaps the match of the night was at 160, as Anthony battled Sonoraville’s Cody Kuhn for a hard-fought 3-2 win.
Hamilton said the match against Calhoun is just another tough opponent the Firebirds have squared off with this season.
“We’ve been wrestling good teams all year, and this is another step in the right direction,” said Hamilton. “We started with some really tough teams at the beginning of the season, and that really toughened us up I think. This match tonight helped us even more.”
Calhoun coach Dale Hales said his team has had a similar tough stretch of matches over the last few months.
“Ever since we started, we’ve been wrestling good teams and had really good competition,” said Hales. “I’m pretty happy so far with our season, and even tonight we wrestled well and didn’t just get completely dominated by them. I thought coming in we needed to win seven matches, and we won five. But getting pinned six times didn’t help us out at all.”
The match also was the final one at home for Calhoun this season as they honored their six seniors before taking on Sonoraville. Among the honorees were Anthony, Green, Quinn, Jason Orellana, Logan Knight and Aaron Pass.
“This is a good group of seniors, and I think they still haven’t reached their potential,” said Hales.
“The good thing is we can still make improvements and get better for the end of the season.”
The match between the two rivals was the second to last tune-up for each before the Area Traditionals Tournament this weekend. Sonoraville will wrestle in the Area 2-AAA Traditional at Central-Carrollton High School, and Calhoun will visit Murray County High School for the Area 3-AA Traditionals.
Hamilton said his team has been working toward being able to peak at the right time at the end of the season.
“When we got done with Area and State Duals, we’ve been in individual mode from that point forward,” said Hamilton. “Every day we’ve been working to fine-tune and work on each wrestler’s weaknesses. I think we’ll be ready (for Area). The good thing is we’ve been improving every time out for the last few weeks, and that’s big.
“The kids are hungry, and they are starting to see all the stuff we’ve done is paying off.”