The Viera Hawks might not have had a full lineup for Wednesday night’s dual wrestling meet against the Rockledge Raiders.
But that didn’t stop the Hawks from putting on some impressive performances.
Between official matches and exhibition matches, the Hawks got four pins from freshman Brennon Curtis (132 pounds), sophomores Jaxson Crumpler (113) and Nate Olson (132) and senior Andrew Pinzon (126) in what was just their fourth event of the season.
The Raiders won the dual meet 36-24.
“They’re getting better,” first-year Viera coach Erik Shea said. “I try to tell them, whether they remember it or not, I don’t care about the wins and losses. I care about them improving the way they wrestle.
“They’re getting better at their positioning. We have a very young team of five or six first-year kids, a couple of second-year kids and our two seniors (Pinzone and Jackson Hatfield) who have been around.
“I’m impressed with the way they wrestle in position. Wrestling’s a sport that takes time, and I’m OK with that. If we do what we can and get better at it, losing doesn’t hurt my feelings.”
Pinzone, a state qualifier last year, was happy to have a match, even if it was an exhibition.
“I was just happy to get my hands on somebody,” said Pinzone, who is 5-0 so far this season.
With both teams not having enough wrestlers to fill out a full bracket, matches were contested in six weight categories.
With Individual Bracket Tournament (IBT) district tournament not scheduled until mid-February, the Hawks are continuing to work on their fundamentals in order to make the most of their opportunity.
“I like fundamentals,” Shea said. “It’s a cliché, but the basics are what I want them to get. That’s position, position, position. I can show you 100 moves, but if you’re in a bad position (it’s not going to work).”
As for the Hawks’ performances Wednesday night, Shea was happy with the way Crumpler and Olson – a pair of state tournament hopefuls – were able to close out their matches.
“(Jaxson) Crumpler and Nate Olson were pretty impressive,” Shea said. “They have different styles, but they’ve both been rushing their finishes and they both settled down (tonight). They didn’t make the same mistakes they usually make. That was impressive.”