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December 18, 2012

WRESTLING WEDNESDAY: Charlestown football players’ great season have carried over to wrestling team

CHARLESTOWN — At Charlestown High School, success does breed success within the athletic department.

This past fall, the Pirates’ football team had one of the best seasons in school history. Charlestown recorded an undefeated regular season, which included an outright Mid-Southern Conference championship.

The Pirates wound up with a No. 2 ranking in the final Associated Press Class 3A poll and proceeded to win the Class 3A Sectional 23 title.

A handful of those football players are a part of the Charlestown wrestling team, and their success on the gridiron has rubbed off on the entire Pirate wrestling program. One of Charlestown’s early-season accomplishments happened on Dec. 8 when it won the MSC Duals for the ninth year in a row.

“They want to prove themselves and keep trying to make a name for themselves,” said Charlestown wrestling coach Adam Doherty, who has six football players in his program. “When the football team is winning, they want to come in and keep that success. They want to keep winning.

“Winning is kind of contagious. They don’t want to get into a lull — they want to keep winning at Charlestown.”

Two of those six football players who are on the wrestling squad have gotten off to great starts to their respective seasons in sophomore Bryant Haynes and senior Seth McCutchen.

Both grapplers’ productive seasons continued last weekend at the Jeff Classic.

Haynes won his first-ever Jeff Classic title as he captured the 120-pound division crown. Haynes defeated Jennings County senior Gary Engleking in his final by an 8-4 decision. He won two of his first three matches in the Jeff Classic by major decision. Haynes currently has a 13-2 record and appears ready to make a return trip to semi-state this season.

“It means a lot,” Haynes said about winning his first Jeff Classic crown. “It’s a big win for me and a big win for the school. Hopefully, it’s just the start of a great season. Hopefully, things get bigger and better.”

Haynes, who was a safety on the Charlestown football team, says being a part of the Pirates’ pigskin success has definitely assisted him on the wrestling mat.

“I think it helps a lot,” Haynes said.

McCutchen, who was Charlestown’s starting running back during the football season, ended up second in the 182-pound weight class at the Jeff Classic.

McCutchen cruised to the title bout. He pinned Northview’s Mike Miller in the first round, won by major decision in the quarterfinals against Jeffersonville’s Brandon Spangler and recorded another pin in his semifinal victory over Jennings County’s Dakota Bott. McCutchen got pinned in the final by Bloomington South’s Dakota Thacker, as he currently sports a 12-2 record.

McCutchen, who made the 2012 News and Tribune All-Area football first team, hopes to get back to semi-state as well.

Doherty admires the work ethic of both Haynes and McCutchen and thinks that helps each wrestler persevere in both football and wrestling.

“Both of those kids work really hard,” Doherty said. “Seth worked really hard playing football and that carries over and gets him ready for the wrestling season. Bryant works really hard in the wrestling season and stays in shape. That carries over for him into the football season.”

As for his program as a whole, Doherty has been relatively pleased with his team’s progress this season.

“We’re a very young team,” Doherty said. “We’ve had to fill some holes here and there. We’ve had some different circumstances come up, where kids that work hard one week aren’t wrestling the next week. But we’re still one of the teams out there doing a good job.”

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