By KEVIN HARRIS
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.”
NEWS AND NOTES
• Highlanders roll to FC Invitational title: Floyd Central continued its impressive season last Saturday by winning all five of its dual meets at the Floyd Central Invitational.
The toughest dual meet for the Highlanders came against Oldham County, which was ranked eighth in Kentucky entering the invitational. The Highlanders won that meet, 37-29.
Floyd Central held its four other opponents — Corydon Central, Vincennes Lincoln, South Oldham (Ky.) and Seymour — in single digits. The Highlanders outscored those four foes, 287-25.
Seven Highlanders went 5-0 in the invite. They were Terrence Kennedy (113 pounds), George Emily (145), John Meldrum (152), Chase Herron (160), Jackson Randall (182), Lance Youtsey (195) and Nick Ottersbach (220). Floyd Central senior Kolton Popp went 3-0, as he wrestled at both 132 and 138 pounds.
The Highlanders’ Austin Ward (126), Chris Whitley (120) and Ian Bagwell (170) each went 4-1. Also for Floyd Central, John Stroble (138) was 3-1, Tre Marler (132) ended up 2-1 and Tyler Crowl (106) went 3-2.
Ward picked up the most impressive victory for Floyd Central. He defeated Corydon Central star Bailey LaHue, who ranks fifth in the state at 126 pounds, by a 5-2 decision.
• Red Devils sixth, Bulldogs ninth at Jeff Classic: Jeffersonville wound up sixth at last weekend’s Jeff Classic at Johnson Arena, scoring 134 points. The highest-finishing wrestler for the Red Devils was Jasi Coureur, who wound up third at 113 pounds.
Three Jeff wrestlers — Oscar DeLeon (132), Tyler Fridley (152) and Gavan Jolley-Little (285) — each finished fourth. Other Jeff wrestlers who placed in the top eight spots and visited the awards podium were Stevie Jones (106), JoJo DeLeon (120), Xavier Weekley (126), Nick Stewart (138), David Fridley (160), Eddie Kaster (170) and Gary Gaines (220).
New Albany finished ninth in the team standings with 105 1/2 points. Senior Austin Jamison paced the Bulldogs by winning the 126-pound title. It was Jamison’s first Jeff Classic championship.
Teammate Bryce Peavler was fourth at 120. Placing in the top eight for New Albany were Damon Dillon (113), Tre Lynch (132), Hunter Castleberry (138) and Nick Lynch (195).
Haynes and McCutchen led Charlestown to an 11th-place showing with 86 points. The Pirates’ Octavio Gomez (113) and Zach Green (195) each finished in the top eight.
New Washington finished 13th with 77 1/2 points. The Mustangs’ Brady Meenach (138) and Yancey Crase (145) each placed third. Other New Washington grapplers finishing in the top eight were James Wise (126), Jacob Blackwell (132), Dalton Bingham (152) and Jacob Franklin (160).
Notes: Results from meets this weekend involving Providence and Christian Academy were not reported at press time.
WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Bryant Haynes, Charlestown and Austin Jamison, New Albany
Each wrestler won his first Jeff Classic championship last weekend. Haynes, a sophomore, defeated Jennings County’s Gary Engleking in the 120-pound final by an 8-4 decision. Jamison, a senior, edged Jennings County’s Marshall Holwager in the 126-pound final by a 3-2 decision.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Highlanders’ successful season continued as they claimed all five of their dual meets to win the Floyd Central Invitational last weekend. Floyd Central won its five dual meets by a combined score of 324-54. Seven Highlanders posted 5-0 records during the tournament.
• TONIGHT: Charlestown at Providence, 6; Louisville St. Xavier at Jeffersonville, 7.
• SATURDAY: Christian Academy at New Washington Invitational, 9 a.m.
• DEC. 28: Charlestown at Mooresville Holiday Classic, 10 a.m.; Floyd Central, New Albany at Mater Dei Holiday Classic, 10 a.m.; Jeff at Madison Cub Warrior Classic, TBA; Providence at Scottsburg 10-way tournament, 9 a.m.
• DEC. 29: Charlestown at Mooresville Holiday Classic, 10 a.m.; Christian Academy at Salem tournament, TBA; Floyd Central, New Albany at Mater Dei Holiday Classic, 9 a.m.; Jeff at Madison Cub Warrior Classic, TBA; Providence at Scottsburg 10-way tournament, 9 a.m.